PM 'out of touch' on housing crisis: Labor

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Scott Morrison is "out of touch" on the issue of surging house and rent prices, Labor says.

But the prime minister has pointed to a number of housing-related government measures, including the home guarantee scheme which lets first-time buyers purchase properties paying deposits as low as five per cent, as proof the government has been taking action.

That scheme has been expanded to 50,000 places per year but has drawn criticism, with the price caps on eligible properties well below average house prices in a number of capital cities including Sydney and Melbourne.

Mr Morrison also referenced the Commonwealth Rent Assistance Scheme as helping more than 1.4 million people, and said an extra $2 billion given to the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation would get an extra 29,000 dwellings on the market.

"They can partner with the private sector, they can get access to finance, and they can develop affordable accommodation as part of the housing estates and apartment developments that are occurring all across the country," the prime minister said.

He said community housing organisations and co-operation with state governments was working, particularly in regional areas.

But Labor campaign spokesman Jason Clare referenced a recent interview with Mr Morrison, where the prime minister encouraged people struggling with rent payments to buy a house.

"There's more than two million Aussies renting at the moment, the average cost of rent is now $2000 more this year than it was 12 months ago ... what's Scott Morrison's response to that? He says, 'If you're struggling to pay rent, buy a house'," Mr Clare said.

"This bloke is so out of touch you'd need the Hubble telescope to find him."

Mr Clare said more needed to be done to build affordable housing.

"Australians are struggling to pay the rent. A lot of Aussies struggling to pay rent don't have $500 in the bank to pay if the washing machine breaks down, let alone enough money for a deposit," he said.

"That's why Labor has a plan - a $10 billion Australian housing future fund - to build more housing, more affordable housing, for the people who need it like frontline workers."

Nationals Senate leader Bridget McKenzie said supply and demand issues were one of the factors behind a lack of affordable housing in the regions.

"We've been able to guarantee 10,000 of our home ownership guarantee packages going to people from rural and regional Australia, which ... is fantastic because we have seen pressures," she told the National Press Club.

"As people from the cities head out our way it has put pressures on our local communities, and we need to work with local government and state governments to address those."

The Greens have committed $21 billion to building one million affordable homes, and want to scrap taxpayer handouts to buyers who own two or more investment properties.

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