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Articles on housing supply

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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.
The recent slump in building approvals is a reminder of the risks of an over-reliance on a boom-and-bust market to meet all housing needs. Joel Carrett/AAP

Build social and affordable housing to get us off the boom-and-bust roller coaster

Housing markets never have met the lowest-income households' needs. Now is the time to tackle problems that have been years in the making by creating a better system to supply their housing.
Labor wants housing to be a federal election issue, but to solve the problems of recent decades Australian governments need to comprehensively rethink their approach. Julian Smith/AAP

Housing policy reset is overdue, and not only in Australia

The problems with housing systems in Australia and similar countries run deep. Solutions depend on a fundamental rethink of our approach to housing and its central place in our lives and the economy.
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.
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.
Local councils across Australia are concerned about a shortage of affordable housing, but feel the problem is beyond local government’s capacity to solve. Dave Hunt/AAP

Local councils put affordable housing supply in the too hard basket

A national survey shows councils know much of the housing in their local areas isn't affordable. But providing affordable housing is not a priority because they see it as being beyond their means.
If you want to separate investor demand for property assets from demand for affordable housing, rent is a better indicator than property prices. James Ross/AAP

Why rents, not property prices, are best to assess housing supply and need-driven demand

Property prices have soared in the past decade, but much more modest increases in rent, with the exception of Sydney, suggest less of an imbalance of supply and demand for housing as a place to live.
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.
In the past, house building matched high immigration. Construction has increased, particularly in Sydney, but needs to make up the backlog of a decade of undersupply. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

How migration affects housing affordability

Australian governments are faced with a choice: make the difficult decisions to fix planning systems so more houses can be built, or tap the brakes on Australia's migrant intake.
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.

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