Articles on Rental housing

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People living in private rental housing were much more likely than social housing residents to say they felt lonely. Dundanim/Shutterstock

‘I really have thought this can’t go on’: loneliness looms for rising numbers of older private renters

Increasing numbers of older Australians don't own their homes. Whether they are private renters or live in social housing can make a big difference to their risk of loneliness and anxiety.
Many places overseas require developers to build a certain proportion of affordable housing, but Victoria has opted for a voluntary negotiated approach. Lichtwolke/Shutterstock

If it’s voluntary for developers to make affordable housing deals with councils, what can you expect?

People on the minimum wage can afford only 2% of private rentals and only 1% if on the pension. Affordable housing requirements are often mandatory overseas, but Victoria is relying on negotiation.
This shed has been illegally converted into housing. Two prams and three mattresses are visible. Informal Accommodation and Vulnerable Households, author provided courtesy of Fairfield City Council

Informal and illegal housing on the rise as our cities fail to offer affordable places to live

With Australian city rents too high for low-income earners, increasing numbers are forced to share houses or rooms or to live in options like 'beds in sheds' and other illegal dwellings.
Labor wants housing to be a federal election issue, but to solve the problems of recent decades Australian governments need to comprehensively rethink their approach. Julian Smith/AAP

Housing policy reset is overdue, and not only in Australia

The problems with housing systems in Australia and similar countries run deep. Solutions depend on a fundamental rethink of our approach to housing and its central place in our lives and the economy.
A large majority of Asian Australians who make up an increasing proportion of the population, especially in big cities like Sydney, have experienced racism. ketrktt/Shutterstock

Asians out! Not in this suburb. Not in this apartment

Asian Australians experience high levels of racism. Almost six in ten Asia-born Australians report having had experiences of discrimination when trying to rent or buy housing.
Many tenants who lit up their apartments in the ‘We Live Here’ campaign see redevelopment of the Waterloo housing estate as a ploy to move them out of the area. Aaron Bunch/AAP

We still live here: public housing tenants fight for their place in the city

Working-class residents of Waterloo have a history of resisting threats to their community. Many tenants see the redevelopment of public housing as state-led gentrification to squeeze them out.
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.
Australian cities need to sustain higher levels of construction and to provide higher-density developments to ensure growing populations have access to affordable housing. Brendan Esposito/AAP

To make housing more affordable this is what state governments need to do

Governments should stop offering false hopes and pandering to NIMBY pressures. As well as increased public and private housing supply, growing cities need well-designed higher-density development.
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'.
As the dream of home ownership eludes more and more older Australians, this has big implications for retirement, pensions and government spending on rental assistance. Billion Photos/Shutterstock

When falling home ownership and ageing baby boomers collide

Until now most people have eventually owned a home. But two trends – falling ownership and a growing aged population – will put the budgets of retirees and government under real pressure.
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.
The return of the historic problem of overcrowded dwellings points to a need in Australia for better understanding of the causes and regulatory responses. Jacob Riis (1889)

Overcrowded housing looms as a challenge for our cities

The standards we use today were designed to help avoid the overcrowded housing that blighted cities in the past. But severe overcrowding is again on the rise, so what needs to be done?

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