Articles on housing affordability

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In Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, just over a third of dwellings are within 400 metres of a public transport stop with services every 30 minutes, but the proportions are much lower in other cities. Angela Brkic/AAP

City-by-city analysis shows our capitals aren’t liveable for many residents

Governments, developers and urban planners all aspire to create liveable cities. Yet when it comes to Australian cities, the rhetoric and reality don’t quite match.
Vital Signs takes stock of all the key elements of a city’s successes and challenges, and the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation uses this data to guide its grant-making. Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation

Taking the pulse of a city: Melbourne’s Vital Signs

A decade after Toronto produced the first Vitals Signs report, community foundations in Melbourne and other cities are using these reports' up-to-date data to inform their decisions.
“Looking for one girl to share a master room with another 3 girls.” Screenshot from Gumtree ad, August 19 2017, 11:58

Room sharing is the new flat sharing

City living costs are driving people to organise themselves to share a room with strangers. These precarious living arrangements hardly qualify as a home.
Housing policymaking hasn’t gone smoothly since Tony Abbott sidelined the experts by scrapping the National Housing Supply Council in 2013. Alan Porritt/AAP

Mounting housing stress underscores need for expert council to guide wayward policymaking

Unaffordable housing and homelessness are burning issues. Policymaking has suffered from a critical lack of data and expert input since the National Housing Supply Council was axed in 2013.
A tiny house in the backyard appeals to some as a solution that offers both affordability and sustainability. Think Out Loud/flick

Interest in tiny houses is growing, so who wants them and why?

New research has found a marked increase in people, particularly among women over 50, who are building or want to build a tiny house. However, inflexible planning rules often stand in their way.
‘Build to rent’ means developers build housing with the intent of retaining the building and renting it out to lower-income families. shutterstock

‘Build to rent’ could be the missing piece of the affordable housing puzzle

A modest rebalancing of federal tax policy toward build-to-rent housing could fill affordable housing funding gaps. Australian funds are already investing in such a scheme in the US.
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.
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.
Most Sydneysiders are concerned about the effects of foreign investment on the local real estate market. Dave Hunt/AAP

Sydneysiders blame foreign investors for high housing prices – survey

Only 18% of Sydneysiders think foreign investors should be able to buy property. They simply don't accept arguments that this investment improves housing affordability by increasing supply.
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.
Households are not competing on equal terms in the private rental market – their perceptions of insecurity vary according to their means, location and reasons for renting. April Fonti/AAP

The insecurity of private renters – how do they manage it?

Private renters' security of tenure in Australia has less legal protection than in other countries with high private rental rates. A new study reveals mixed responses to this state of uncertainty.
Even though Sydney’s population growth (at 14%) is below the average across all capital cities, its housing supply failed to match this growth. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Get used to your commute: data confirms houses near jobs are too expensive

Data on housing supply in Australia's capital shows that while it's increasing in areas with lots of jobs, house prices are too high for those who might want to move for work.

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