More people than expected needed help, and the states have found stable housing for less than a third of rough sleepers who were put up in hotels. A hands-off federal government simply isn't helping.
In both London and Liverpool – two extremes of Britain’s polarised housing market – activists have been busy re-imagining the future of public housing.
The shortfall of social housing has built up over decades. Even after the building program is complete, the gap between housing supply and the numbers on waiting lists will still be huge.
The redevelopment of public housing and the introduction of private accommodation can leave the original tenants feeling worried they'll be living in a neighbourhood they hardly recognise.
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.
If more people work from home and shop online, many commercial buildings won't be needed any longer. What will be needed is affordable housing, and these buildings can be converted to meet this need.
The hard lockdowns of whole blocks have been challenging for many residents due to their histories of trauma, their housing conditions and a lack of communication and understanding from authorities.
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.
The spread of the virus through households creates costs higher than for isolation in hotels when families are large and living at close quarters as in Melbourne's public housing towers.
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%.
Mismanaged and in disrepair, many low-income housing complexes are nonetheless seen as important avatars of modern architecture. But are calls for their preservation forgetting those who matter most?
The public housing hard lockdown is the product of a punitive public housing system whose residents have been neglected for decades.
Public housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne have been placed under 'hard lockdown', with 3,000 residents confined to home for at least five days, after 23 COVID-19 cases in 12 homes.
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.
A home, a springboard, or a safety net? New research finds a surprisingly large number of Australians have lived in social housing since 2000, using it in several very different ways.
Helping tenants find work supposedly creates a pathway into private rental housing, freeing up social housing for others. Private rental costs and the situations of many tenants make that unrealistic.
The government-backed body set up to help finance social housing providers is providing longer-term, cheaper loans. What's still missing in Australia is direct public investment in new housing.
The public inquiry into Grenfell makes its first report – but those responsible for the circumstances leading up to the fire are yet to face the consequences.