Articles sur Cities & Policy

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With the steelworks under a cloud, Whyalla continues to fluctuate between hope and despair. Gary Sauer-Thompson/flickr

Diminishing city: hope, despair and Whyalla

Decades of expansion for Whyalla were followed by decades of contraction. Whyalla has seen optimism and idealism but also, if not despair, then its close neighbours, alienation and apathy.
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.
A public backlash against council amalgamations appears to have forced the NSW government to shift its position. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Bush democracy wins out but council mergers continue in Sydney

The proposed amalgamation of 40 NSW councils has generated heated opposition. While public resistance has now won out in several regional communities, it's a different story in the city.
Any attempt to improve security for tenants should not deprive them, or their landlords, of the flexibility that many also want. David Crosling/AAP

Rental insecurity: why fixed long-term leases aren’t the answer

Any attempt to improve security for tenants should not deprive them, or their landlords, of the flexibility that many also want. The key problem is landlords' ability to give notice without a reason.
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.
On current trends, renters will eventually outnumber home buyers, representing a fundamental shift in how the economy and wealth generation work. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Moving on from home ownership for ‘Generation Rent’

Generation Rent may force a complete rethinking of home ownership as a basis of our housing systems. Rather than representing security, these housing markets make us vulnerable.
The opera house is raised on a terraced platform, away from the shore like an island amphitheatre. Terence Wong from www.shutterstock.com

Why the Sydney Opera House is a little overcooked

Construction should have stopped once the roofs were erected. Any citizen could then have walked up to the terraced amphitheatre, sat down and gazed back at the country from this shrine to the nation.
To understand how households cope, we may need to look beneath broad patterns of affordability to the interplay of housing costs with other problems. IDuke/Wikimedia Commons

Housing affordability problems might not be all bad

Housing affordability is often not the only problem households face. More often the compounding effects of multiple problems leave people unable to cope, which is why one solution won't work for all.
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.
The housing affordability crisis isn’t limited to the big cities – the Tweed Heads area, for instance, is rated worse than Melbourne in the latest survey. AAP

A housing affordability crisis in regional Australia? Yes, and here’s why

The affordability crisis in regional Australia has a long history. In some places the problem is even worse for residents than in the capital cities.
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.
An innovative water-sensitive project aims to dramatically improve the health of slums and their environment together.

Water-sensitive innovations to transform health of slums and environment

A five-year project announced today will implement an innovative water-sensitive approach tailored to informal settlements. The goal is to revitalise 24 communities in Fiji and Indonesia.
Federal and state agencies are using powerful automated data-matching programs to identify properties that are generating income and might be liable for tax. from www.shutterstock.com

Airbnb hosts beware – it’s not just Centrelink using robo-debt systems

State revenue offices are using data matching to identify people who earn income from Airbnb, then sending notices that they may be liable for land tax, even though this remains a legal grey area.

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