Articles on Unaffordable housing

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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?
Housing is just one of the essentials in household budgets and it’s when there’s no way to manage all these costs that financial stress really sets in. Emma Baker

Housing affordability stress affects one in nine households, but which ones are really struggling?

Housing affordability is one of Australia’s great unsolved problems. Some households can make adjustments to cover high housing costs, but the ones deprived of essentials are under real stress.
In the past, house building matched high immigration. Construction has increased, particularly in Sydney, but needs to make up the backlog of a decade of undersupply. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

How migration affects housing affordability

Australian governments are faced with a choice: make the difficult decisions to fix planning systems so more houses can be built, or tap the brakes on Australia's migrant intake.
Nurses who care for people in the city can’t afford a property anywhere near their place of work. didesign021/Shutterstock

Key workers like nurses and teachers are being squeezed out of Sydney. This is what we can do about it

People on moderate incomes, including police and emergency workers, have been forced to seek housing on the city fringes, far from their places of work. But there are ways to reverse this trend.
“Looking for one girl to share a master room with another 3 girls.” Screenshot from Gumtree ad, August 19 2017, 11:58

Room sharing is the new flat sharing

City living costs are driving people to organise themselves to share a room with strangers. These precarious living arrangements hardly qualify as a home.
Housing policymaking hasn’t gone smoothly since Tony Abbott sidelined the experts by scrapping the National Housing Supply Council in 2013. Alan Porritt/AAP

Mounting housing stress underscores need for expert council to guide wayward policymaking

Unaffordable housing and homelessness are burning issues. Policymaking has suffered from a critical lack of data and expert input since the National Housing Supply Council was axed in 2013.
A tiny house in the backyard appeals to some as a solution that offers both affordability and sustainability. Think Out Loud/flick

Interest in tiny houses is growing, so who wants them and why?

New research has found a marked increase in people, particularly among women over 50, who are building or want to build a tiny house. However, inflexible planning rules often stand in their way.
#WeLiveHere2017 aims to turn inanimate buildings into metaphorical sentient structures, with ‘mood lights’ expressing the feelings of Matavai and Turanga Tower residents about their neighbourhood’s redevelopment. Nic Walker courtesy of #WeLiveHere2017

We Live Here: how do residents feel about public housing redevelopment?

Residents of two high-rise public housing blocks are being given 'mood lights' to express how they feel based on their experience of the process of redeveloping their neighbourhood.
Much of what is being built is straightforward ‘investor grade product’ – flats built to attract the burgeoning investment market. Bill Randolph

Why investor-driven urban density is inevitably linked to disadvantage

The inexorable logic of the market will create suburban concentrations of lower-income households on a scale hitherto only experienced in the legacy inner-city high-rise public housing estates.
Driven by higher returns on their equity, debt-financed investors are dominating the housing market and shaping its growth. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Investors are exploiting returns on debt financing to muscle out home buyers

New research shows the actual returns on equity for housing investors are higher than most people realise. This helps explain why investors are able to out-compete other home buyers.
Households are not competing on equal terms in the private rental market – their perceptions of insecurity vary according to their means, location and reasons for renting. April Fonti/AAP

The insecurity of private renters – how do they manage it?

Private renters' security of tenure in Australia has less legal protection than in other countries with high private rental rates. A new study reveals mixed responses to this state of uncertainty.
Unless the demand pressures are eased, first home buyers are still likely to be crowded out of the market. Sam Mooy/AAP

Budget needs a sharper policy scalpel to help first home buyers

The budget acknowledges the crisis of affordability for first home buyers, but fails to do enough about demand pressures on prices to put home ownership back within their reach.
When public investment in a development like Sydney’s Northern Beaches Hospital boosts land values, who should reap those gains: the community or individual owners? NSW Premier's Office/AAP

Tax on ‘unearned gains’ is the missing piece of the affordable housing puzzle

Who is entitled to the increase in value created by planning approvals, new infrastructure, population growth or urban development? For John Stuart Mill, the answer would have been the community.
Are the millennials doomed to be nomads, locked out of the home-ownership market forever? sharon_k/flickr

Off the plan: shelter, the future and the problems in between

Owning a home has deep cultural and economic connotations. A home owner is a member of a street, a community. They are a successful adult human. They own a piece of the pie, the dream.
Migrants can no longer afford to live in the ‘gateway’ suburbs that once helped them to leave the ranks of the ‘disadvantaged’ and feel at home in their new country. Jack Wright/flickr

New to Australia? Good luck! Migrants can no longer afford ‘gateway’ suburbs

With the winding back of government support for housing, 'gateway' suburbs that have in the past accepted and supported recent immigrants are becoming increasingly unaffordable.

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