SYDNEY - Australia's centre-left Labor government said on Saturday it would commit A$2 billion ($1.4 billion) to deliver thousands of new affordable homes nationwide, as the country grapples with soaring living costs.
Prime Minster Anthony Albanese said the funds - to be used by 30 June 2025 - would be delivered to state and territory governments within two weeks, with the aim of boosting public housing supply for Australians on waiting lists.
"The Labor government that I lead believes that every Australian deserves the security of a roof over their head," Albanese said in Melbourne.
"One hundred percent will be public housing, this is money for public housing."
The government in May said it would include A$14.6 billion over four years in the federal budget for cost-of-living relief for families and businesses, which it promised would not stoke stubbornly high inflation.
In a statement, Albanese described securing more housing for Australians as a "key national priority" and said the extra funding brought government investment in the area to more than A$9.5 billion in FY23.
Separately, the government wants to establish an A$10 billion housing fund to build at least 30,000 new affordable homes, but has faced opposition in parliament from minor party senators.
At June 2021, there were 417,800 households on major social housing programmes, including public housing, up from 378,600 in June 2008, according to government data. ($1 = 1.4541 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Sam McKeith; Editing by Stephen Coates)