Australia launches A$512 mln housing affordability fund

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Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said here on Monday the housing affordability crisis in the country is out of control and his government planed to bring down the relative cost of purchasing a home.

Rudd made the promise while officially launching the government’s five-year A$512 million ($410 million) housing affordability fund at a residential development in suburban Canberra.

Rudd said the fund would bring down the cost of houses and new developments by reducing infrastructure charges and speeding up planning approvals. “The challenge is to make it work, so that the dream of owning your own home becomes more of a reality,” he told reporters. “What I am signaling loud and clear is that we want to tackle the housing affordability crisis for Australian families which has gotten out of control, and we need to start bringing it back under control,” the prime minister added.

The cost of buying a new house has been rising steadily over the past 10 years. In 1996, the average cost of buying a new home represented four times the annual average wage, and by the end of last year it cost seven-and-a-half times the average wage. (Xinhua)

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