Tens of thousands of social and affordable housing properties would be built as part of a $10 billion housing future fund promised by the federal opposition. 

Labor leader Anthony Albanese used his budget reply speech to pledge a Housing Australia Future Fund to deliver 20,000 social housing properties in its first five years.

Four thousand of the homes would be allocated to women and children who are escaping family and domestic violence and to older women who are at risk of homelessness.

Mr Albanese described the properties as places like the council home he grew up in with his mother — a single parent who was receiving the disability pension. 

"Our home gave us so much more than somewhere to sleep," he said in his speech to parliament. 

"It gave my mum and I pride and dignity and security, and it gave me a future, a future that led me here tonight.

 "Our housing plan is good for jobs too. This initiative will create over 21,500 jobs each year."

Labor's plan also includes a promise to build 10,000 affordable homes for frontline workers such as nurses, police, and cleaners, who Mr Albanese said were the "heroes of the pandemic".

A portion of the returns made on the future fund would be used for the repair and maintenance of homes in remote Indigenous communities.

The money would also be put towards crisis accommodation for women and children and specialist services for veterans who are experiencing homelessness. 

Opposition promises cash payments for 'new energy' apprentices 

Mr Albanese said a Labor government would provide cash payments to 10,000 apprentices working in "new energy" areas such as rooftop solar, energy efficiency upgrades and green hydrogen. 

Apprentices would receive $2,000 when they start, followed by $2,000 a year for up to four years as they train — a total of up to $10,000.

The apprenticeships would be offered over four years from 2022/23 at a total cost of $100 million.

"The rest of the world has figured this out: cutting pollution means creating jobs," he said.

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