Anthony Albanese has committed to working with states and territories to build 1.2million new homes in the next five years to combat the national housing crisis.

The prime minister has promised life will get easier for renters under the new agreement, after meeting with state premiers for the final National Cabinet before the Voice referendum on Wednesday to discuss housing.

He acknowledged supply remains the primary issue across the board, and has vowed the new homes will be built in ‘well located’ areas around Australia, starting from July 2024. This is an additional 200,000 homes than pledged last year.

National Cabinet has also agreed to work toward providing a ‘better deal for renters’, which will include developing a nationally consistent policy to remove no-grounds evictions and move toward limiting rent increases to only once a year.

The government will look toward phasing in minimum rental standards. 

‘This is borrowed, unashamedly, from some of the Hawke reforms,’ Mr Albanese told a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

As part of the reforms, there will be close consideration as to how to better regulate short-stay residential accommodation. 

The PM noted this is a problem which is impacting some electorates more significantly than others. 

He was flanked by each of the state premiers and First Ministers – all but one are also Labor – as he made the announcement.

Mr Albanese would not be drawn to speculate the Greens’ response to his policies. The party has been holding his Housing Australia Future Fund to ransom in the Senate with demands of nationwide rent freezes.

Labor has stated a belief that rent freezes will make the housing crisis worse.

‘I’ve been talking with an negotiating with First Ministers, not minor parties,’ he said.

‘They idea that you just have a rent freeze… there is no jurisdiction arguing for that. No-one is arguing that that will make a positive difference.

‘We believe it will make it worse.’

States will be financially incentivised to build more than their fair share of the 1.2 million homes with a ‘new home bonus’.

In total, $3billion will be spent on building the new homes. 

‘An additional 200,000 homes with $3bn allows for an incentive of $15,000 per additional home, over and above the one million that had previously been agreed to,’ Mr Albanese said. 

There will be a particular focus on promoting medium and high-density housing in areas which are close to existing public transport connections, amenities and employment opportunities.

The group hope that new reforms will address delays in development approvals to get the ball rolling, and to improve community consultation processes.

Mr Albanese described the policy decisions as ‘the most significant reforms to housing policy in a generation’.

‘My government is determined to fulfil our responsibility, because I care deeply,’ he said.

‘There are timelines on all of this – which is as soon as we can.’

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