Articles on Unaffordable housing

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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.
#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
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.
Unless the demand pressures are eased, first home buyers are still likely to be crowded out of the market. Sam Mooy/AAP

Budget needs a sharper policy scalpel to help first home buyers

The budget acknowledges the crisis of affordability for first home buyers, but fails to do enough about demand pressures on prices to put home ownership back within their reach.
When public investment in a development like Sydney’s Northern Beaches Hospital boosts land values, who should reap those gains: the community or individual owners? NSW Premier's Office/AAP

Tax on ‘unearned gains’ is the missing piece of the affordable housing puzzle

Who is entitled to the increase in value created by planning approvals, new infrastructure, population growth or urban development? For John Stuart Mill, the answer would have been the community.
Are the millennials doomed to be nomads, locked out of the home-ownership market forever? sharon_k/flickr

Off the plan: shelter, the future and the problems in between

Owning a home has deep cultural and economic connotations. A home owner is a member of a street, a community. They are a successful adult human. They own a piece of the pie, the dream.
Migrants can no longer afford to live in the ‘gateway’ suburbs that once helped them to leave the ranks of the ‘disadvantaged’ and feel at home in their new country. Jack Wright/flickr

New to Australia? Good luck! Migrants can no longer afford ‘gateway’ suburbs

With the winding back of government support for housing, 'gateway' suburbs that have in the past accepted and supported recent immigrants are becoming increasingly unaffordable.
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?
Generation X and Y are equally, if not more aggressive than baby boomers when investing in property. Chris Devers/Flickr

Business Briefing: how the attitudes of the next generation are changing the property market

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.
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.
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.
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.

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