Why housing projects may not be enough to replace construction jobs loss





2020 is a year of a rollercoaster ride. So many have happened, starting from the effects brought by the coronavirus concerning the health aspect, which then led governments all around the world to impose a lockdown to prevent the virus to spread further. The lockdown really had impacted industries in such a huge way that jobs were lost. It is fortunate that the construction industry, although movements were regulated, was able to continue on. The government has made it clear time and time again that the building and construction industry will play such a crucial goal in the nation’s economic recovery.


How, you might ask? It is through creating more jobs.


One of the solutions the government has brought is the building of more social and affordable housing. While it is true that this will create more jobs, experts are quite unsure whether it would be enough to save those who have lost construction jobs early this year.


Building industry experts note that the government’s initiative of $5.3 billion to build social and affordable housing in Victoria is sadly, not going to be enough to save the jobs that were lost due to the pandemic. Under this package, the next four years will be dedicated to building 12,000 social and affordable homes across Melbourne and regional Victoria. This initiative promises to create at least 10,000 jobs. Unfortunately, it could still be too little to help the 30,000 construction workers who are unemployed due to coronavirus.


Industry experts are currently advocating for more investments for the next 18 months in the different areas in the building and construction sector. Incentives for first-time homebuyers and builders are highly encouraged too, plus energy-efficient renovations. This would be very effective in boosting the selling of homes, even during the pandemic. The HomeBuilder grants made new builds and renovations, which made it successful. However, this package is very much short-term.


The HomeBuilder grant helped slow down building inactivity, but for long-term effects, an extension of these schemes must be done. Now that the lockdown is no longer in effect – businesses and workers have more freedom and so, pre-COVID levels of activity may now return.


Improvements to the operation of these schemes are important as well because it would eventually determine its effectiveness. One of the predictions in the 2020-2021 financial year, housing construction would fall by 43 percent. So the only solution for the job losses due to the pandemic is to actually welcome more housing commitments from state governments. Social housing packages and construction pledges will be needed to improve the sector, which in turn would be necessary for the rehabilitation of the nation’s economy.


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