Articles on Housing

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Sometimes the best plans aren’t enough. Ben Birchall/PA

Overhaul the planning system to boost building of better homes

As a planning academic you might think that I get heavily involved in the planning system – commenting on draft development plans, or objecting to proposed developments – but actually I tend to steer clear…
Even tiny houses are worth a lot these days. Images_of_Money

Barratt profits as houses shrink, but don’t blame the builder

Bosses at Barratt Developments, the UK’s largest housebuilder, could be forgiven for awarding themselves a pat on the back at the company’s AGM today. Advance sales are up 47%, aided by the government’s…
I say, look at the size of this larder. Oli Scarff/PA

Help to Buy is a problem for UK banks, by default

Mortgage rates for the government’s Help to Buy scheme were announced yesterday amid the usual torrent of criticism for a policy that has very few friends. One Daily Telegraph commentator deemed the policy…
Just 199,000 to go. Rui Vieira/PA

Miliband’s housing promises reflect an escalating crisis

The commentariat has gone into overdrive in the wake of Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour party conference. Does it represent, at last, the shattering of the neoliberal consensus? Is it the articulation…
Houses should be homes, not assets. Chris Radburn/PA

House prices need to be stabilised, not capped

Amid all the noise around UK housing policy, it is worth taking a step back and asking a deeper question about our property market. Yes, another bubble would be damaging for the UK economy and especially…
Yesterday’s early start to the bushfire season threatened homes in Sydney’s suburbs. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Fire and flood: how home insurance can help us adapt to climate change

Australia is a harsh and volatile environment, subject to extremes of fire and flood. We’ve just seen a particularly early start to the bushfire season, with over 60 fires burning and at least two homes…
Bricks and mortar, yes, but how much insulation under the tiles? Rui Vieira/PA

Plugging 25 million leaky houses is no small task

The UK has some of the oldest – and leakiest – housing stock in the western world. The vast majority of it will still be standing in 2050, the year by which the government has set itself a target to cut…
Not just a nice idea: zero emissions housing is affordable and possible, once some policy changes are made. Jeff Egnaczyk

To cut emissions, the housing sector has to pull its weight

If Australia is to reduce its emissions enough to limit the impacts of climate change, all sectors are going to have to pull their weight. It’s a big job: scientists tell us we need reduce emissions by…

Moving tougher on poor children

Children who move frequently while young are more likely to have behavioural problems - but only if they’re from low income…
What’s the evidence linking inefficient planning approval processes to expensive housing in Sydney and other state capitals? Nicole Gurran

Home truths: are planners really to blame for our housing “shortage”?

Is Australia becoming a nation of renters, and are planners to blame? Newspaper headlines accompanying the release of a new report on housing supply and affordability, by the federal government’s independent…
There’s more to a house than four walls and a door - the history of home ownership in Australia reveals a lot about our nation. Flickr/Orderinchaos

Me and my McMansion: Australians and their homes

Next time you drive through a suburban street or any country town shut your eyes for a moment and try to imagine the dreams of the people who built that house. Houses are envelopes for our desires and…
The new definition is based on the notion of a “home” rather than minimum community standards of housing. Deadly Sirius

Definition of homelessness changes but problems remain

According to the best estimates at the time, almost 105,000 Australians were homeless on census night in August 2006. This promoted then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to make the ambitious commitment to accommodate…
At a critical juncture: policies to try to make Melbourne a more compact city have failed. AAP

The end of affordable housing in Melbourne?

The Melbourne housing market is at a critical juncture. A new research paper by Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research called ‘The End of Affordable Housing in Melbourne?’ argues…
Damned lies and statistics: the figures indicate a significant deficit of dwellings in Australia. But is the methodology sound? Capt' Gorgeous

Beware the rent-seeking organisation: don’t be dudded by housing data

One of the more interesting outcomes the 2011 Census produced was the figures concerning the housing market. The reason for this interest is how the results contrasted with the idea that Australia currently…
Many Australians who live alone are elderly. soylentgreen23

Australian census: one in ten live alone, but that doesn’t mean they’re lonely

AUSTRALIA BY NUMBERS: Today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the first batch of its 2011 census data. We’ve asked some of the country’s top demographers and statisticians to crunch the…
Facing tough questions: NSW’s planning review must grapple with competing visions of development. Flickr/Askew One

Under review: rival visions for people and communities

Later this year Brad Hazzard, NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, faces a difficult decision. Will he prepare new state planning legislation that prioritises a desired outcome: healthy, functional…

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