Articles on housing policy

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The argument that stronger supply will deliver more affordable housing isn’t borne out in areas where new unit and apartment construction is booming. Joel Carrett/AAP

Affordable housing policy failure still being fuelled by flawed analysis

The clichés about housing supply and regulatory restraints are distractions from the need to focus on expanding the affordable housing sector to directly meet the needs of low-income households.
When an ageing person is forced to move out of their family home, that can trigger a host of problems that policy is doing little to prevent. Diego Cervo/Shutterstock

For Australians to have the choice of growing old at home, here is what needs to change

Millions of older Australians live in houses that don't safely meet their needs, but they're not ready for a nursing home. Lack of suitable housing and the moving costs leave them with nowhere to go.
The old pathways to home ownership have been displaced by more uncertain routes that waver between owning and renting. Glenn Hunt/AAP

Home ownership foundations are being shaken, and the impacts will be felt far and wide

Increasingly insecure pathways to home ownership are not just a problem for property markets. The fallout is likely to hit retirement incomes, the welfare base, gender equity and the broader economy.
Nurses who care for people in the city can’t afford a property anywhere near their place of work. didesign021/Shutterstock

Key workers like nurses and teachers are being squeezed out of Sydney. This is what we can do about it

People on moderate incomes, including police and emergency workers, have been forced to seek housing on the city fringes, far from their places of work. But there are ways to reverse this trend.
The Ballarat Road project in Maidstone and Footscray, Melbourne, will transform vacant land into housing for people at risk of homelessness. Schored Architects

Portable units and temporary leases free up vacant land for urgent housing needs

An innovative collaboration between government, a non-profit group and philanthropists has found a way to provide urgently needed housing on land that would otherwise be left vacant for years.
Without medium-density housing being built in the established suburbs – the ‘missing middle’ – the goals of more compact, sustainable and equitable cities won’t be achieved. zstock/shutterstock

Becoming more urban: attitudes to medium-density living are changing in Sydney and Melbourne

Residents of established middle suburbs are slowly coming round to the idea, but governments and the property sector lack the capacity to deliver compact cities that are acceptable to the community.
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.
#WeLiveHere2017 aims to turn inanimate buildings into metaphorical sentient structures, with ‘mood lights’ expressing the feelings of Matavai and Turanga Tower residents about their neighbourhood’s redevelopment. Nic Walker courtesy of #WeLiveHere2017

We Live Here: how do residents feel about public housing redevelopment?

Residents of two high-rise public housing blocks are being given 'mood lights' to express how they feel based on their experience of the process of redeveloping their neighbourhood.
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

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.

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