Articles on housing affordability

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Campaigning for a third term in government in 2014, NZ Nationals leader John Key visits a new housing development, consistent with the government’s framing of affordability as a supply problem. Sarah Robson/AAP

Housing crisis? What crisis? How politicians talk about housing and why it matters

Tracing politicians' use of the term 'housing crisis' reveals it came into common use only in recent years, and then only by opposition MPs. Governments prefer to frame the issues differently.
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.
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.
Digital communications technology means many high-skill workers don’t need to be in the office to do their jobs. MJTH/Shutterstock

Fancy an e-change? How people are escaping city congestion and living costs by working remotely

E-changers are the latest group to move from the big cities to escape high living costs and congestion. But because they remain very productive remote workers some employers are embracing the trend.
Shared houses work well for 82% of people living in them in their early 20s, but only 25% see this as a long-term option. Earlyspatz/Wikimedia

First home buyer schemes aren’t enough to meet young adults’ housing aspirations

The housing aspirations of young Australians change as they enter their late 20s and early 30s. But having somewhere safe and secure to call home is the top priority for all young adults.
Older Australians aspire to the security of owning their own home, but prefer smaller houses in their later years. yopinco/Shutterstock

What sort of housing do older Australians want and where do they want to live?

Most older Australians want to live in a home they own, preferably in the middle and outer suburbs of a city. But increasing numbers look unlikely to realise their housing aspirations.
Many commuters already travel from regional cities to work in capital cities like Melbourne so what impacts will fast rail have? Alpha/Flickr

Regional cities beware – fast rail might lead to disadvantaged dormitories, not booming economies

While governments focus on how to ease congestion and make affordable housing more accessible for workers in our biggest cities, fast rail could be a mixed blessing for regional cities.
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.
Students march through the University of NSW in Sydney calling on the university to divest from fossil fuels. AAP/Danny Casey

Young voters may hold the key to the NSW state election: here’s why

There are more than 1.3 million young Australian voters in NSW, but they feel excluded from traditional politics. To win the youth vote, politicians must address the key issues that matter to them.
Housing affordability becomes less of a concern in the years after buying a house, especially for people who bought a decade or more ago. Paul Miller/AAP

Head start for home owners makes a big difference for housing stress

Affordability is a problem across Sydney for prospective home buyers. But if they are able to become owners, new research shows affordability becomes much less of a problem over five to ten years.
Airbnb’s likely impacts on people and their responses to it are related to their status as property owners, investors, prospective buyers or tenants. Justin Lane/EPA

Who wins and who loses when platforms like Airbnb disrupt housing? And how do you regulate it?

Short-term letting via digital platforms benefits some in the market at the expense of others. Closer regulation might be needed in Melbourne and Sydney, where a permissive approach prevails.
Australian cities need to sustain higher levels of construction and to provide higher-density developments to ensure growing populations have access to affordable housing. Brendan Esposito/AAP

To make housing more affordable this is what state governments need to do

Governments should stop offering false hopes and pandering to NIMBY pressures. As well as increased public and private housing supply, growing cities need well-designed higher-density development.

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