Articles on housing affordability

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Despite all the proposals to combat housing affordability, Scott Morrison will need to make hard political decisions on policies that will actually make a difference. Lukas Coch/AAP

The latest ideas to use super to buy homes are still bad ideas

The latest thought bubbles about using super savings for housing might be less harmful than in the past, but they would be just as ineffective.
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.
Scott Morrison made it clear that any improvement in commodity prices or wages growth would be used for budget repair. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Scott Morrison says budget will remember the renters

The proposed housing affordability package in the May budget will target people relying on social housing as well as those trying to break into the market.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The government has changed the rules so that another foreign investor can replace one who has pulled out of buying an off-the-plan dwelling. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Changes for off-the-plan foreign buyers rely on a broken supply argument

The government says its changes to foreign investment will increase housing supply and make it more affordable, but that's relying on narrow and possibly incorrect assumptions about investors.

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