The Greens put housing affordability at the centre of the election campaign today with a plan to deliver 85,000 new rental homes and ease the pressure on Australian renters.
Greens housing spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam - who is also a renter - said the almost one in three Australians who rent have been ignored by the old parties.
"The old parties need to face the facts - Australia is now a nation of renters. There are 2.4 million households in one of the most stretched rental markets in the world. Renters shouldn't be treated like second class citizens.
"‘Take The Pressure Down: The Greens Rental Supply Boost' will deliver 85,000 new homes over the next ten years - directly helping 220,000 Australian renters, and taking pressure off the market - which will help countless others," said Senator Ludlam.
The fully-costed Greens Rental Supply Boost will fund 70,000 new homes under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), and 15,000 new homes through a Convert To Rent program that will finance the conversion of empty properties into renovated low-cost rental homes.
Senator Ludlam has a proven record in campaigning for more affordable housing. In 2011 he successfully stopped the Labor Government cutting $264 million from the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
"Australia is experiencing an unprecedented housing crisis. Renters are amongst the hardest hit. The average rent has at least doubled in every city since 2000, and in Brisbane, Perth, Darwin and Canberra the rent has tripled," said Senator Ludlam.
"The median rent in Australia is not considered affordable for key workers on average incomes, like pre-school teachers, hairdressers, bakers, shop assistants, bricklayers, carpenters or plasterers, nursing assistants, and dental technicians. And workers on the minimum wage can't afford to rent anywhere.
"Our Affordable rental package will directly help almost a quarter of a million Australian renters, and will take the pressure out of the rental market for millions more. The Greens are the only party providing a voice for renters this election."
The package will provide an additional incentive - ‘GreeNRAS' - to ensure the new NRAS homes meet world class standards for sustainable buildings, energy efficiency and come with solar PV panels.
The Greens also plan reviews and improvements for Commonwealth Rent Assistance.
This forms part of the Greens Rental Revolution Package - a comprehensive plan to deliver a better deal for Australian renters.
Housing groups are calling out for immediate action and The Greens are the only party that is answering the call.
Find out more about the "I Rent And I Vote" campaign: