Only a small proportion of housing is affordable for low-income earners, while people on Newstart or Youth Allowance don't have any affordable options at all.
Any significant decline in home ownership or equity in a home impacts higher care needs: older people will not have an asset to sell to fund the bonds required to enter aged care accommodation.
Planning for the future of our cities can no longer ignore growing social, economic and environmental issues that are all exacerbated by wealth and income inequalities.
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.
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.
Impact investments are designed to achieve a measurable social or environmental – as well as financial – return.
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.
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?
Business Briefing: how the attitudes of the next generation are changing the property market.
The Conversation18.5 MB (download)
There's been a shift in attitudes to the property market over generations, from owning a home as a right, to owning a home as a commodity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shared ownership schemes can unlock access to suitable housing, although these are less common in Australia than overseas. And most are not specifically tailored for people with disability.
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.
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.
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.
Ecologically sound housing needs to be built on a much larger scale.
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.