Governments have been more focused on managing waiting lists than heeding calls to invest in increasing the stock of social housing.
The need to manage long waiting lists for social housing, rather than serving the best interests of tenants and prospective tenants, is a major driver of policymakers' approach.
A rally for affordable housing in Vancouver, Canada.
From Berlin to New York, citizens from around the world have shown that it is possible to get governments to make affordable housing a priority.
This shed has been illegally converted into housing. Two prams and three mattresses are visible.
Informal Accommodation and Vulnerable Households, author provided courtesy of Fairfield City Council
With Australian city rents too high for low-income earners, increasing numbers are forced to share houses or rooms or to live in options like 'beds in sheds' and other illegal dwellings.
Housing affordability becomes less of a concern in the years after buying a house, especially for people who bought a decade or more ago.
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.
Tight finances are the main reason more older Australians, especially women, are living in share houses.
While share houses are more a matter of financial necessity than choice, many older Australians are discovering it has unexpected social benefits for them.
A model city?
Brasília was designed to be a just and inclusive city, but it still failed. Can Egypt's new capital avoid the same mistakes?
If you want to separate investor demand for property assets from demand for affordable housing, rent is a better indicator than property prices.
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.
Few shelters will accommodate homeless people with pets.
People may not have a criminal record before they become homeless, but they likely will afterward due to laws intended to keep people with nowhere to go out of sight.
The return of the historic problem of overcrowded dwellings points to a need in Australia for better understanding of the causes and regulatory responses.
Jacob Riis (1889)
The standards we use today were designed to help avoid the overcrowded housing that blighted cities in the past. But severe overcrowding is again on the rise, so what needs to be done?
Housing is just one of the essentials in household budgets and it’s when there’s no way to manage all these costs that financial stress really sets in.
Housing affordability is one of Australia’s great unsolved problems. Some households can make adjustments to cover high housing costs, but the ones deprived of essentials are under real stress.
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.
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.
Nurses who care for people in the city can’t afford a property anywhere near their place of work.
People on moderate incomes, including police and emergency workers, have been forced to seek housing on the city fringes, far from their places of work. But there are ways to reverse this trend.
State premiers like Gladys Berejiklian need to have a much sharper policy focus on delivering social and affordable housing.
Yet again the evidence shows supply is no cure-all for affordable housing. All levels of government in Australia need to concentrate on housing for low-income renters in particular.
“Looking for one girl to share a master room with another 3 girls.”
Screenshot from Gumtree ad, August 19 2017, 11:58
City living costs are driving people to organise themselves to share a room with strangers. These precarious living arrangements hardly qualify as a home.
Housing policymaking hasn’t gone smoothly since Tony Abbott sidelined the experts by scrapping the National Housing Supply Council in 2013.
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.
A tiny house in the backyard appeals to some as a solution that offers both affordability and sustainability.
Think Out Loud/flick
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
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.
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.
The homeless camp in Martin Place, Sydney, is an uncomfortable reminder of a deeper systemic crisis.
The Martin Place camp and others like it should make us uncomfortable. We live in a system that creates and tolerates homelessness.
Interest rate adjustments are crude and fail to target the problems within the housing market.
A variable special rate on new residential housing developments in selected centres could be used to create a local incentive to supply more affordable dwellings at higher density.