Articles on Affordable housing

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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.
Many places overseas require developers to build a certain proportion of affordable housing, but Victoria has opted for a voluntary negotiated approach. Lichtwolke/Shutterstock

If it’s voluntary for developers to make affordable housing deals with councils, what can you expect?

People on the minimum wage can afford only 2% of private rentals and only 1% if on the pension. Affordable housing requirements are often mandatory overseas, but Victoria is relying on negotiation.
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.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, speaks with Toronto Mayor John Tory before a recent news conference announcing funding for affordable housing in the Toronto area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The Ontario government’s shameful snub of affordable housing

Canadians should invest in affordable housing. It's a commitment to lifting the most vulnerable members of our society from the ground up — and lifting our entire country up in the process.
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

Informal and illegal housing on the rise as our cities fail to offer affordable places to live

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.
The numbers of buyers able to celebrate moving into their first home are still well down on pre-GFC levels – and low-income renters are faring even worse. fizkes/Shutterstock

On housing, there’s clear blue water between the main parties

Housing policy is a stark point of difference at this election. While the government took promising steps to set up social housing finance, it has yet to give any sign it will finish what it started.
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.
A cake made to farewell the last tenant to leave the Sirius building, which was built in Sydney at a time when governments saw the need to invest directly in public housing. Ben Rushton/AAP

Is social housing essential infrastructure? How we think about it does matter

If we recognised social housing as infrastructure as essential as transport links, schools and hospitals, not properly investing in it could become unthinkable.
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.
Recent reports suggest Airbnb is having an impact on housing markets in cities popular with tourists. (Shutterstock)

Airbnb’s adverse impact on urban housing markets

It's now clear that a single American company, Airbnb, has upended local housing markets, pushed rental prices skyward and could be contributing to poverty, especially in cities popular with tourists.
Labor would work with community housing providers, the residential construction sector and institutional investors. Flickr

Shorten’s subsidy plan to boost affordable housing

In his Sunday announcement, Shorten says the ALP’s ten-year plan to build 250,000 houses and units would be Australia’s “biggest ever investment in affordable housing”.
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.

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