Labor has conceded a housing infrastructure fund its MPs once labelled a $1 billion slush fund for the coalition is unlikely to be one.
Labor wants a Senate inquiry into a proposed housing infrastructure fund its MPs once labelled a $1 billion slush fund for the coalition.
Party stalwarts accused the coalition of squirrelling away money earmarked for the proposed National Housing Infrastructure Facility into a slush fund when it was announced last year.
Senator Doug Cameron had raised concerns after hearing from Treasury officials that allocations for loans, investments and grants weren't set in stone.
"It became clear the government's proposal ... was nothing but a $1 billion slush fund for the coalition," he said at the time.
But Treasurer Chris Bowen conceded in parliament on Wednesday that's unlikely to be true.
"Now we've received some degree of comfort ... which suggests this is less likely to be the case," he said.
But that's not stopping them wanting an investigation into whether the fund, designed to provide housing relief, will actually make a difference.
Mr Bowen said Labor would support legislation through the lower house.
But the opposition would seek a Senate inquiry into the extent to which the fund will contribute to increasing housing stock, particularly affordable housing, as opposed to greenfield development for private market owner-occupied or investment and rental housing.
Assistant minister to the treasurer Michael Sukkar said the fund would provide up to $175 million in grants and $825 million in concessional loans and equity investments to the private sector and state and local governments to invest and facilitate housing-related infrastructure.
Eligible projects included transport links, power and water infrastructure and site remediation, he said.