Parents and children rarely put agreements about granny flats in writing and almost never consult a lawyer. But when these arrangements go wrong, the consequences can be disastrous and costly for all.
Much of the growth in our cities is in the outer suburbs, now home to around 5 million people. And that creates problems like traffic that detract from the advantages residents see in living there.
It's natural to assume that a downturn in the property market is good news for people who've been priced out of the market. In practice, they might still not be able to buy a home.
Cities relied entirely on conserving and recycling water to get through the last big drought. We now have desalination plants, but getting the most out of our water reserves still makes sense.
Sydney and Melbourne are bringing desalination plants back on stream and Adelaide plans to increase its plant's output. Perth depends on desalination. But is it the best way to achieve water security?
The risks of combustible cladding on high-rise buildings have long been known. And audits have identified hundreds of Australian buildings with this cladding. Delay in replacing it is inexcusable.
As more and more Australians live and work in high-rise buildings, their responsibilities and roles in ensuring all occupants' safety must not be neglected.
If we recognised social housing as infrastructure as essential as transport links, schools and hospitals, not properly investing in it could become unthinkable.
Fortunately, no lives were lost in the latest cladding fire in Melbourne, but it's a stark reminder of the urgent need to track and verify that building materials comply with safety standards.
While Opal Tower residents are more badly affected than most, up to 80% of multi-unit buildings have serious defects. Here's what government can do right now to fix the industry.
Affordability is a problem across Sydney for prospective home buyers. But if they are able to become owners, new research shows affordability becomes much less of a problem over five to ten years.
It's easy to scorn the gentrifying hipster stereotype, but many inner-city neighbourhoods benefit from the distinctive mix of businesses and activities they pursue. So why should the suburbs miss out?
Air conditioning changed both building design and people's active management of home temperatures. A return to houses designed for our climate can keep us comfortable and cut energy use and emissions.
Tiny houses aren't for everyone, but most people who live in them are positive about the experience. Yet planning laws still make this way of life harder and less secure than it could be.
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?
Think moving won't change you? You might want to rethink that. To feel 'at home' you need to accept the new place where you live as part of your changing identity.
By adapting the charter city model to create a new city on the northern coast, Australia could be the world’s great 21st-century refuge.
Building defects in apartment blocks are far from unusual. We need to identify the systemic flaws contributing to them.
It's tempting to blame building certifiers and the fact they are privately employed. But the cracks in the quality of our apartment buildings go deeper and can be fixed.
Living in shared rooms is on the rise, because it's more affordable – and more profitable for landlords. But it's also a more precarious, often overcrowded and poorly regulated form of housing.