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.
Public housing in Paris (left) and Melbourne (right) has similar impacts on residents’ integration into the community.
Wissem Felah, Sandra Carrasco
Whether in Melbourne or in Paris, African immigrants face social and cultural challenges, which public housing can either add to or help overcome.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Granny flats are often the result of informal arrangements between parents and children who assume it will all work out well.
Parents and children rarely put agreements about granny flats in writing and almost never consult a lawyer. But when these arrangements go wrong, the consequences can be disastrous and costly for all.
Housing policy needs to prioritise housing's function as a home, rather than an asset.
The extra $1 billion Premier Gladys Berejiklian (left) and Social Housing Minister Pru Goward say will be ‘harnessed’ for social housing is actually Commonwealth Rent Assistance for which tenants transferred to community housing providers become eligible.
For the first time a state government housing agency has effectively contracted out all its operations in some regions, but will this improve and add to the total social housing stock?
Construction workers at Opal Tower on December 26, 1018.
Building defects in apartment blocks are far from unusual. We need to identify the systemic flaws contributing to them.
Labor leader Bill Shorten has announced a policy based on a solid principle of fairness, but with a second-best model of delivering social housing.
Labor has made a substantial commitment to tackling inequality in Australia, but has taken a second-best approach to overcoming the huge shortfall of social housing.
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.
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.
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.
Airbnb’s likely impacts on people and their responses to it are related to their status as property owners, investors, prospective buyers or tenants.
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.
People should be able to feel at home regardless of whether they own the place they live in.
Renting a house shouldn't mean it's not home. Until we change our meaning of home by separating it from ownership, we will never be able to "fix" Australia’s housing crisis.
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.
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.
Uncapped rent increases and ‘no grounds’ evictions leave older women particularly at risk of substandard housing conditions or even homelessness.
Proposed changes to NSW rental tenancy law are an improvement, but do not end the excessive rent increases and "no grounds" evictions that put renters – and older women in particular – at risk.
The right of landlords to terminate a lease with no grounds is the most serious deficiency in residential tenancy laws in New South Wales.
Residential tenancy reforms are before the NSW parliament, but a key reform is missing. In this open letter, housing academics call for an end to landlords' power to terminate leases with 'no grounds'.
Caggara House in Brisbane caters for low-income residents aged 55 and over who previously lived alone in state-owned houses that were too big for their needs.
Much of the innovation in providing social housing is coming from community housing providers around the country. And it's desperately needed given the state of housing inequality in Australia.
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.
Only in the past couple of years has housing construction got close to matching population growth in Sydney and other big cities.
Migrants have similar home ownership rates to the overall population and rely less on public housing. But housing supply shortfalls and higher prices have reduced ownership among recent migrants.