In Australia, we do housing and we do health, but they sit in different portfolios of government and the policy dots aren't joined often enough.
Current housing stimulus measures aim to boost buyer demand and are too small to sustain a recovery. A second round of stimulus is likely to be needed, and it should go into social housing supply.
Australia has housed rough sleepers during the pandemic, unlike the US, but it’s a temporary fix.
Australia found shelter for more than 33,000 rough sleepers and other homeless people during the pandemic, but a coming surge in homelessness demands a comprehensive national housing strategy.
The impacts of the pandemic on jobs and incomes have been so widespread and severe that low-income households can afford very few properties despite rents falling in some parts of our capital cities.
Photographer: Alex Frayne, from his series ‘The Overseers of Streets’, for the 2020 Head On Photo Festival
When the moratorium on evictions ends, even more Australians will face housing insecurity and homelessness. Beyond the moral and health cases, there's a powerful financial reason to end homelessness.
The fallout from COVID-19 for housing and homelessness just adds to the urgency of fixing the long-standing ills of the housing market. The well-being of Australia's economy and people depends on it.
Accommodation providers are reporting huge increases in the numbers of people coming to them for help. They'd love to be able to use newly vacant rental housing, but it's not a lasting solution.
The Albert Street public housing in North Melbourne.
Ghettos of crime, drugs and vice? Full of people bludging off the state? That's typical of the unfair stigma attached to public housing, and it distracts us from more fundamental issues.
High rents and insecurity are constant sources of financial and emotional stress for low-income women. They describe what it's like struggling to survive and being one step away from being homeless.
Older women have been the fastest-growing group of homeless people in recent years. New research shows about 240,000 women aged 55 or older and another 165,000 women aged 45-54 are at risk.
Much of our public housing stock is ageing and substandard. But we can learn from outstanding examples of retrofit projects that have transformed existing blocks into high-quality housing.
Public housing renewal often aims for a 70:30 private-public mix of dwellings. Modelling shows applying this mix to Waterloo housing estate would cut the suburb's social housing share from 30% to 17%.
The public housing hard lockdown is the product of a punitive public housing system whose residents have been neglected for decades.
Most local councils, developers and nonprofit providers want mandatory affordable housing requirements applied to all development. The current system of voluntary negotiations just isn't working well.
You'd think falling housing prices might help people on low incomes, but history shows downturns often increase inequality. And many buyers who took out big loans during the housing boom are at risk.
This former school site in Dallas, Melbourne, is one of many sites suitable for public housing that are being prepared for sale in areas with high housing need.
Of 2,646 hectares of public land being prepared for sale in Victoria, 24 sites are suitable for building high-quality public housing in places of high need. Why isn't the land being used for this?
The pandemic has brought to a head deep-rooted problems with how housing is provided in Australia. Fortunately, the solutions can play a central role in the national recovery process.
Construction employs one in ten Australians, with a broad range of skills, using mostly locally made materials. Building social housing would meet urgent social needs as well as creating jobs.
The system isn't working to prevent young Australians becoming homeless and to house them when they need it. New research finds a shift to proven community-based approaches can end decades of failure.
Australians faces an even more unequal future unless post-pandemic housing policy focuses on equity, solidarity and security. .