Articles on Public housing

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Rental stress leaves hundreds of thousands of Australians struggling for years to cover all the other costs of living. Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock

Growing numbers of renters are trapped for years in homes they can’t afford

After paying rent, more than half of low-income tenants don't have enough left over for other essentials. And the latest evidence shows nearly half of them are stuck in this situation for years.
The evidence shows permanent housing, like the Fitzroy housing estate, is the best and most cost-effective way to reduce homelessness. Kate Shaw

Shh! Don’t mention the public housing shortage. But no serious action on homelessness can ignore it

It's time to tackle the shortage of public housing head-on, rather than skirt around the problem. Public housing is the single most cost-effective way to turn around the rise in homelessness.
With more than 80% of Singaporeans living in state-provided housing, the city rates well for affordability compared to Sydney, where the figure is just 5.5%. Bill Roque/Shutterstock

Affordable housing lessons from Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore: 3 keys to getting the policy mix right

A coordinated mix of policies does more to keep housing affordable for a significant proportion of a city's residents than the unbalanced approach we see in Sydney.
The costs of keeping a roof over our heads create a dependence on market growth that puts low-consumption, sustainable living out of reach for many of us. Glenn Hunt/AAP

Access to land is a barrier to simpler, sustainable living. Public housing could offer a way forward

The cost of land and, in turn, housing forces people to buy into the rules of market capitalism, making it very hard to 'downshift' from consumer lifestyles. But what if we rethink public housing?
Policies focused on ownership do little to help lower-income households that are struggling to pay the rent. Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

Housing affordability has improved slightly, but people on lower incomes will continue to struggle

The policy focus remains on home ownership, but a new survey shows slight improvements in affordability do little to help people on low incomes. Their plight calls for better social housing policy.
Public housing in Paris (left) and Melbourne (right) has similar impacts on residents’ integration into the community. Wissem Felah, Sandra Carrasco

Paris? Melbourne? Public housing doesn’t just look the same, it’s part of the challenges refugees face

Whether in Melbourne or in Paris, African immigrants face social and cultural challenges, which public housing can either add to or help overcome.
The extra $1 billion Premier Gladys Berejiklian (left) and Social Housing Minister Pru Goward say will be ‘harnessed’ for social housing is actually Commonwealth Rent Assistance for which tenants transferred to community housing providers become eligible. Simon Bullard/AAP

‘Growth’ of community housing may be an illusion. The cost-shifting isn’t

For the first time a state government housing agency has effectively contracted out all its operations in some regions, but will this improve and add to the total social housing stock?
Many tenants who lit up their apartments in the ‘We Live Here’ campaign see redevelopment of the Waterloo housing estate as a ploy to move them out of the area. Aaron Bunch/AAP

We still live here: public housing tenants fight for their place in the city

Working-class residents of Waterloo have a history of resisting threats to their community. Many tenants see the redevelopment of public housing as state-led gentrification to squeeze them out.
The current social housing construction rate – barely 3,000 dwellings a year – does not even keep pace with rising need, let alone make inroads into today’s backlog. Joel Carrett/AAP

Australia needs to triple its social housing by 2036. This is the best way to do it

A tenfold increase in building is needed to overcome the current social housing shortfall and cover projected growth in need. But it can be done, and direct public investment is the cheapest way.
The Melbourne Apartments Project developed by the Barnett Foundation offered 28 units to households living within 4km of the site and willing to leave their social housing. Barnett Foundation

Affordable home-ownership scheme offers a pathway out of social housing

Shared equity models have a dual benefit of making home ownership affordable for people on modest incomes and freeing up scarce social housing for other households in need.
Getting more out of ‘lazy’ land, such as this community housing built over a Port Phillip City Council-owned car park, is a key strategy to reduce the shortage of affordable housing. CIty of Port Phillip

Put unused and ‘lazy’ land to work to ease the affordable housing crisis

As Melbourne's population hits 5 million, it's a reminder that growing cities must make much better use of vacant and underused land to meet the urgent need for affordable housing.

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