Articles on housing policy

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The extra $1 billion Premier Gladys Berejiklian (left) and Social Housing Minister Pru Goward say will be ‘harnessed’ for social housing is actually Commonwealth Rent Assistance for which tenants transferred to community housing providers become eligible. Simon Bullard/AAP

‘Growth’ of community housing may be an illusion. The cost-shifting isn’t

For the first time a state government housing agency has effectively contracted out all its operations in some regions, but will this improve and add to the total social housing stock?
The current social housing construction rate – barely 3,000 dwellings a year – does not even keep pace with rising need, let alone make inroads into today’s backlog. Joel Carrett/AAP

Australia needs to triple its social housing by 2036. This is the best way to do it

A tenfold increase in building is needed to overcome the current social housing shortfall and cover projected growth in need. But it can be done, and direct public investment is the cheapest way.
Airbnb’s likely impacts on people and their responses to it are related to their status as property owners, investors, prospective buyers or tenants. Justin Lane/EPA

Who wins and who loses when platforms like Airbnb disrupt housing? And how do you regulate it?

Short-term letting via digital platforms benefits some in the market at the expense of others. Closer regulation might be needed in Melbourne and Sydney, where a permissive approach prevails.
The Melbourne Apartments Project developed by the Barnett Foundation offered 28 units to households living within 4km of the site and willing to leave their social housing. Barnett Foundation

Affordable home-ownership scheme offers a pathway out of social housing

Shared equity models have a dual benefit of making home ownership affordable for people on modest incomes and freeing up scarce social housing for other households in need.
Uncapped rent increases and ‘no grounds’ evictions leave older women particularly at risk of substandard housing conditions or even homelessness. Shutterstock

Life as an older renter, and what it tells us about the urgent need for tenancy reform

Proposed changes to NSW rental tenancy law are an improvement, but do not end the excessive rent increases and "no grounds" evictions that put renters – and older women in particular – at risk.
The right of landlords to terminate a lease with no grounds is the most serious deficiency in residential tenancy laws in New South Wales. Shutterstock

An open letter on rental housing reform

Residential tenancy reforms are before the NSW parliament, but a key reform is missing. In this open letter, housing academics call for an end to landlords' power to terminate leases with 'no grounds'.
Caggara House in Brisbane caters for low-income residents aged 55 and over who previously lived alone in state-owned houses that were too big for their needs. UDIA Qld/Facebook

A community fix for the affordable housing crisis

Much of the innovation in providing social housing is coming from community housing providers around the country. And it's desperately needed given the state of housing inequality in Australia.
If you want to separate investor demand for property assets from demand for affordable housing, rent is a better indicator than property prices. James Ross/AAP

Why rents, not property prices, are best to assess housing supply and need-driven demand

Property prices have soared in the past decade, but much more modest increases in rent, with the exception of Sydney, suggest less of an imbalance of supply and demand for housing as a place to live.
Hobart is facing a rental accommodation shortfall of about 5,000 households, but the statewide shortage totals more than 29,000 households. Dave Hunt/AAP

Councils’ help with affordable housing shows how local government can make a difference

Tasmania has an estimated rental housing shortfall of 29,200 households across the state. Especially in disadvantaged rural areas, local councils have had to step in to help house residents locally.
Firefighters didn’t expect to find hundreds of homeless families squatting in a São Paulo building that caught fire. REUTERS/Leonardo Benassatto

Deadly highrise fire in Brazil spotlights city’s housing crisis and the squatter movement it spawned

Hundreds of squatters were living in a vacant police station in São Paulo when fire broke out on May 1, killing up to four people. The residents were part of Brazil's nationwide homeless movement.

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