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Australian Opposition Announces 4.7 bln USD Plan for Affordable Housing

CANBERRA: The opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP) has revealed its plan for affordable housing.

Speaking at the party’s national conference on Sunday, ALP leader Bill Shorten announced that the party would spend 6.6 billion Australian dollars (4.7 billion U.S. dollars) over a decade to lower the price of rent for those in need if victorious at the 2019 general election.

Under the plan, ALP would institute a direct annual subsidy of 8,500 Australian dollars (6,100 U.S. dollars) for investors who offer new rents 20 percent lower than the market rate in new dwellings.

According to ALP, the initiative would save a family paying the national rental average of 492 Australian dollars (353.3 U.S. dollars) per week 92 Australian dollars (66 U.S. dollars) a week.

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“We will be a government in the best of the Labor tradition: economic prosperity, social progress and a fair go for all,” Shorten told the conference.
“Rental affordability is a national challenge and it demands national leadership.”

Recent opinion polls have suggested that ALP is set to defeat the governing Liberal National Party coalition (LNP) in a landslide in the election, ending six years in opposition.

The housing plan will be paid for by the ALP’s tax plan, which will see the tax revenue increase by at least 88 billion Australian dollars (63.2 billion U.S. dollars) over a decade.

The announcement comes after a report revealed by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute that there was a social housing unit shortfall of 433,000 nationwide.