The federal government is set to pass Labor’s $10bn Housing Australia Future Fund on Wednesday afternoon following months of stalled negotiations in the Senate.

After striking a deal with the Albanese government, the Greens plan to “hold firm” on pushing for nationwide rental caps and have warned that Labor risks losing valuable seats in the upcoming election if it does not shift their gears on a freeze.

“If this is what it takes to get Labor to recognise they have to shift on rents, then there’s a lot of seats across the country that they stand to lose to the Greens,” a party spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“If we come to the next election and they (Labor) have genuinely not shifted on rents, I think that would be catastrophic for them.”

This comes after the Greens yielded to the Albanese government on its stalled housing policy after securing an extra $1bn for public and community housing.

Party leader Adam Bandt and housing spokesperson Max Chandler-Mather announced the minor party negotiated an extra $1bn on top of a $2bn social housing accelerator for states and territories.

Mr Chandler-Mather pushed back against anger from renters who complained he had backed down too soon, saying the fight was “just getting started” and it was up to Mr Albanese to put money on the table to incentivise a cap.

“We’ll be using our power in the Senate in the House to hold Labour’s feet to the fire every step of the way and we’ll be pushing as hard as we can to make sure those homes are built as quickly as possible,” Mr Chandler-Mather told ABC on Tuesday.

“Our criticism of the Housing Australia Future Fund from the start was it was only ever a gamble on the stock market and then subsidising housing indirectly, but what we got out of these negotiations is that it’s in the name of social housing.”

“We weren’t able to convince Labor to care about the one-third of this country who rents, but what we have been able to do is force the Prime Minister and all the premiers across the country to meet around the table.”

Housing Minister Julie Collins said the government could add another 200,000 or so homes every year despite industry shortages pressuring the already 165,000 homes per year currently in the works.

“We’re obviously working and talking to the construction sector. They say the million homes is achievable,” she said.

In response to Monday’s announcement, the Liberal Party shot down the deal as a “political stunt” and said it did nothing to ease the supply pressures on first-home buyers seeking to get into the property market.

On Tuesday, opposition home affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham shot down the housing deal as a “ridiculous proposition” and said it would ramp up budget pressure and construction costs.

Liberal housing spokesman Michael Sukkar said the Coalition would be voting against the Bill this week.

“The Coalition will not be supporting the establishment of the HAFF, which is merely $10bn in additional Commonwealth government borrowing that cannot guarantee and will not deliver a single home before the next election,” he said.

Read related topics:Anthony Albanese



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