Articles on housing policy

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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
Forty years on, there is still resistance to mixing with the ‘sort of people’ who were segregated in social housing tower blocks. David Jackmanson/flickr

Class divide defies social mixing and keeps public housing stigma alive

Even where communities are mixed, many inner-city families go to extraordinary financial and geographic lengths to ensure their children do not go to school with children from 'the flats'.
Add up all the neglected costs of downsizing and retirees have good reason to be wary of making the move. wavebreakmedia from www.shutterstock.com

Downsizing cost trap awaits retirees – five reasons to be wary

Retirees are often urged to downsize to free up suburban properties for the next generation and for higher-density development. What's being ignored is the costs of moving into a unit or apartment.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle explains the revised Queen Victoria Market redevelopment, flanked by Planning Minister Richard Wynne and Premier Daniel Andrews. Joe Castro/AAP

Social mix in housing? One size doesn’t fit all, as new projects show

Mixing public and private housing in urban renewal projects can be a contentious business. But public good and optimal use of public resources, not developer interests, should guide such decisions.
At the Ashwood-Chadstone estate, Port Phillip Housing Association has built high-quality homes, with no visible difference between the 72 private and 206 community housing dwellings. PPHA

Community sector offers a solid platform for fair social housing

Concerns about the privatisation of public housing estates should not blind us to the benefits of the transfer of public housing to the not-for-profit community housing sector.
How much of co-housing is shared space is up to residents.

Co-housing works well for older people, once they get past the image problem

Older Australians are keenly aware of the housing challenges they face, but most are wary of co-housing due to the negative associations of shared living spaces.
Protests over housing at, an informal settlement near Johannesburg. EPA/Cornell Tukiri

South Africa urgently needs to rethink its approach to housing

Recent events suggest that South Africa's government may be resorting to short-term measures to pacify anger over lack of housing. But what's needed is a major overhaul of the housing policy.
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.
Restoring and expanding Australia’s run-down public housing stocks will need an increase in funding on top of the reforms in the budget. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Budget 2017 charts new social and affordable housing agenda

The budget is pushing for a much-needed reboot of the social housing sector. What it isn't offering is extra funding to renew and expand run-down housing stocks.
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.
Treasurer Scott Morrison is eyeing bond aggregation as a way to finance social housing, but government funding is still needed under that model. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Affordable housing, finger-pointing politics and possible policy solutions

In the second part of our review of what The Conversation experts have to say about housing, we focus on affordability, social housing and what government can do about a growing crisis.
The Turnbull government’s line that supply is the key to affordability finds little support among housing experts. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

What housing issues should the budget tackle? This is what our experts say

Housing experts writing for The Conversation largely agree on the government policies that are causing negative distortions in the market and the wider economy. And supply is not the key concern.
People with intellectual disability face so many barriers to finding a home of their own that it’s hard to pick one. shutterstock

The forgotten 660,000 locked out of home ownership

Think it's hard for first-home buyers? Ask people with an intellectual disability about it.
The financialisation of housing has become central to wealth creation in Australian households. Andrey_Popov from www.shutterstock.com

Explainer: the financialisation of housing and what can be done about it

We now value the house as a wealth builder, not just a place to live in and raise a family. The result is a distorted investment market that makes home ownership and rental unaffordable.

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