Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk with a massive drop in homebuilding activity projected to hit the housing industry due to the impact of COVID-19.

Housing construction has been spared from lockdown measures but current projects are winding up, and new work is drying up.

According to a survey by the Master Builders Association, 73 per cent of residential construction businesses reported a substantial fall in forward work, with 40 per cent being lost on average.

The projected number of annual new builds has also dropped significantly from over 160,000 to 100,000.

Right now, there is a risk that as Australia goes back to work, tradespeople will run out of work.

This is about people and their ability to pay their bills and look after their families.

In times of economic shock, housing construction has played a vital role in national economic recovery.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that for every $1 invested in new housing construction, $3 of activity is created for the broader economy.

The Government and National Cabinet urgently needs to develop a plan with the housing industry to make sure hundreds of thousands of tradespeople don’t lose their job.

This could include:

  • Repair and maintain existing social housing.
  • Incentivising new builds in the housing sector.
  • Encouraging apprentices and apprenticeships.

The economy won’t snap back if this industry snaps.

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