Articles on Social housing

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To meet the needs of lower-income households, housing should be both affordable and located near public transport and other services. Graeme Bartlett/Wikimedia

What a difference a month makes, but Victoria can still do more to get housing and planning right

Victoria has been lagging behind other states in developing an affordable housing strategy. Now that one has been released, how well does it meet the needs of households on lower incomes?
Scott Morrison has recently broadened the range of affordable housing policy options he’s considering, and moving beyond simplistic supply-side solutions would be a positive development. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Australia’s almost a world leader in home building, so that isn’t a fix for affordability

The housing supply solution our leaders are advocating will only work if affordability is simply a problem of supply. In fact, Australia is almost a world leader in rates of new housing production.
New South Wales is the state that has suffered the biggest fall in available public housing stock since 2009. This has led to protests. Teresa Parker/AAP

Australia needs to reboot affordable housing funding, not scrap it

Although the federal-state agreement does it inadequately and lacks transparency, an enduring program of federal funding for operational expenses is essential to sustain the social housing system.
The homeless people evicted from Flinders Street in Melbourne’s CBD are only the tip of the iceberg of the housing crisis in Victoria. Joe Castro/AAP

States drag feet on affordable housing, with Victoria the worst

Weak state policies, which lack clear targets and mechanisms for providing more and better affordable housing, are part of the problem. Victoria still doesn't have an affordable housing strategy.
As well as meeting his UK counterpart, Philip Hammond (flanked by Australian High Commissioner Alexander Downer), Scott Morrison has been talking with UK housing finance experts. Will Oliver/EPA

Sensible reform to finance affordable housing deserves cross-party support

Scott Morrison has been exploring a UK model for channelling investment via a specialist financial intermediary into new affordable housing provided by landlords with a social purpose. It makes sense.
This transit-oriented development in Oakland, California, combines residential housing with easy access to local transport options and amenities. Eric Fredericks/flickr

Make housing affordable and cut road congestion all at once? Here’s a way

A combination of transit-oriented centres, inclusionary zoning and a special rate on land instead of stamp duty could make housing more affordable by cutting congestion, development and travel costs.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian needs to shed the Treasury view of housing construction as a silver bullet and back former premier Mike Baird’s social and affordable housing program. Nikki Short/AAP

If you’re serious about affordable Sydney housing, Premier, here’s a must-do list

The new NSW premier is right to identify housing affordability as a priority for the people and economy of Sydney. It's not just housing supply that's the problem – action is needed on many fronts.
The increasing proportion of children living in housing-related poverty confronts us with the question: what will we do about it? Ollyy/shutterstock.com

Rental housing policies trap children in poverty, so how low will we go?

Many children are living in low-income families that struggle to pay the rent to keep a roof over their heads. Unaffordable housing is fuelling childhood poverty, so where is the policy response?
The growing numbers of pensioners in private rental accommodation use much of their income to pay for housing. Alan Porritt/AAP

Why secure and affordable housing is an increasing worry for age pensioners

For the increasing proportion of people living in private rental accommodation who can expect to be dependent on the age pension, the prospects of financial and housing insecurity are grim.
With 700,000 vulnerable Australians depending on public housing, any proposal to change its status is likely to set off alarm bells. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Productivity Commission stance has potential for social housing gains

The report's stated goal is to make the social housing system work better. It does not present as a manifesto for an entirely marketised and deregulated framework driven by the profit motive.
Premier Mike Baird (right) has been out promoting the Sydney Metro project, but has yet to explain how the benefits of massive public investment will be shared. Stefanie Menezes/AAP

Sydney Metro’s Sydenham-to-Bankstown line – nirvana or nightmare?

Who’ll profit from the value uplift arising from the huge investment of taxpayers’ funds in creating better-serviced, higher-density suburbs? And what will the changes mean for existing residents?
The rear of 30-32 Oxford Street, an area of Sydney affected by an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1900. Wikimedia/NSW State Archives

Why 100 years without slum housing in Australia is coming to an end

New research finds almost a million Australians are living in poor or very poor-quality housing, with more than 100,000 in dwellings regarded as very poor or derelict.
Nne-star-rated ‘Catalyst’ houses built to maximise passive solar principles were evaluated against seven control houses built to DHHS standards. Trivess Moore

Sustainable housing’s expensive, right? Not when you look at the whole equation

Emerging research challenges the idea that sustainable housing is unaffordable. It shows sustainability and good design can be affordable when analyses include social, health and wellbeing benefits.
Before entering politics, Scott Morrison was employed to develop policy for the Property Council of Australia, which is now leading the charge against negative-gearing reform. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Housing policy is captive to property politics, so don’t expect politicians to tackle affordability

The default position for politicians is to sound concerned about housing affordability, but do nothing. This can be explained by the idea of 'policy capture', in this case by industry interests.

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