Candidate for Mackellar, Craige McWhirter, has called on the major parties to wake up to the seriousness of the housing crisis in Mackellar and the broader Northern Beaches.

Mr McWhirter said, "Safe, affordable housing is a right not a privilege.

"The coalition has consistently ignored this problem. Now after the latest of many housing summits, forums and inquiries Labor has not produced an adequate plan to address this.

"Nearly 2 out of 5 renters pay more than 30% of their income in rent. For these people home ownership is simply out of their reach and they are forced to struggle with high rent.

What the rental market needs is a program of subsides and tax incentives designed to increase the supply of affordable housing for low and middle income earners.

The coalition's obsession with freeing up land for development on the outer urban fringes does nothing to solve this problem. People need to live a reasonable distance from their workplace. Many people spend 3 hours or more travelling to and from work each day and it places a massive strain on families.

Labor's response has been to create a new Ministerial position and to further monitor the crisis. This is a totally insufficient response and proves Labor is all talk on the big issues.

"We cannot underestimate the hardship this places on people. Quality of life for many Australians in this situation is severely compromised. There is a whole generation of Young Australians who will never be able to afford their own home."

I challenge the member for Mackellar, Bronwyn Bishop, to commit to a 10% minimum set aside for affordable housing on all new developments.

The Greens are committed to action on housing. It will be a high priority for our Mackellar election campaign.

More information: Craige McWhirter, 0415958783