Articles on Rental housing

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A large majority of Asian Australians who make up an increasing proportion of the population, especially in big cities like Sydney, have experienced racism. ketrktt/Shutterstock

Asians out! Not in this suburb. Not in this apartment

Asian Australians experience high levels of racism. Almost six in ten Asia-born Australians report having had experiences of discrimination when trying to rent or buy housing.
Many tenants who lit up their apartments in the ‘We Live Here’ campaign see redevelopment of the Waterloo housing estate as a ploy to move them out of the area. Aaron Bunch/AAP

We still live here: public housing tenants fight for their place in the city

Working-class residents of Waterloo have a history of resisting threats to their community. Many tenants see the redevelopment of public housing as state-led gentrification to squeeze them out.
Airbnb’s likely impacts on people and their responses to it are related to their status as property owners, investors, prospective buyers or tenants. Justin Lane/EPA

Who wins and who loses when platforms like Airbnb disrupt housing? And how do you regulate it?

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.
Australian cities need to sustain higher levels of construction and to provide higher-density developments to ensure growing populations have access to affordable housing. Brendan Esposito/AAP

To make housing more affordable this is what state governments need to do

Governments should stop offering false hopes and pandering to NIMBY pressures. As well as increased public and private housing supply, growing cities need well-designed higher-density development.
Uncapped rent increases and ‘no grounds’ evictions leave older women particularly at risk of substandard housing conditions or even homelessness. Shutterstock

Life as an older renter, and what it tells us about the urgent need for tenancy reform

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. Shutterstock

An open letter on rental housing reform

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'.
As the dream of home ownership eludes more and more older Australians, this has big implications for retirement, pensions and government spending on rental assistance. Billion Photos/Shutterstock

When falling home ownership and ageing baby boomers collide

Until now most people have eventually owned a home. But two trends – falling ownership and a growing aged population – will put the budgets of retirees and government under real pressure.
If you want to separate investor demand for property assets from demand for affordable housing, rent is a better indicator than property prices. James Ross/AAP

Why rents, not property prices, are best to assess housing supply and need-driven demand

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.
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)

Overcrowded housing looms as a challenge for our cities

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?
It’s not easy to tell, but about a quarter of Airbnb properties in Sydney are essentially commercial letting operations. paul/Flickr

Airbnb regulation needs to distinguish between sharing and plain old commercial letting

One problem with Airbnb is that it isn't transparent about how many properties are truly 'shared' and how many are just part of a letting business. Regulators need to know that to manage the impacts.
Hobart is facing a rental accommodation shortfall of about 5,000 households, but the statewide shortage totals more than 29,000 households. Dave Hunt/AAP

Councils’ help with affordable housing shows how local government can make a difference

Tasmania has an estimated rental housing shortfall of 29,200 households across the state. Especially in disadvantaged rural areas, local councils have had to step in to help house residents locally.
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. Emma Baker

Housing affordability stress affects one in nine households, but which ones are really struggling?

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.
People are alarmed about Airbnb’s impacts, but these are far from uniform across the city. Justin Lane/EPA

Airbnb: who’s in, who’s out, and what this tells us about rental impacts in Sydney and Melbourne

The patterns of Airbnb listings in Australia's biggest cities suggest impacts on rental housing are likely to be biggest in high-end areas that appeal to tourists. Low-income areas are less affected.
Will Gwynne walks through one of the nine Melbourne estates that is being sold in the public housing ‘renewal’ program. David Kelly

Voices of residents missing in a time of crisis for public housing

The problem with most public housing 'renewal' programs is that the residents have the least say in what happens to the places they call home. The evidence of housing research is also being ignored.
Exordium Apartments at Zetland, built by City West Housing, provide affordable, high-quality housing to key workers within the City of Sydney. Alan Morris

Mission nearly impossible: the City of Sydney’s efforts to increase the affordable housing supply

If local government is to deliver affordable housing, state and federal governments must assist. Even councils as powerful and well resourced as the City of Sydney cannot do it by themselves.
The argument that stronger supply will deliver more affordable housing isn’t borne out in areas where new unit and apartment construction is booming. Joel Carrett/AAP

Affordable housing policy failure still being fuelled by flawed analysis

The clichés about housing supply and regulatory restraints are distractions from the need to focus on expanding the affordable housing sector to directly meet the needs of low-income households.
The old pathways to home ownership have been displaced by more uncertain routes that waver between owning and renting. Glenn Hunt/AAP

Home ownership foundations are being shaken, and the impacts will be felt far and wide

Increasingly insecure pathways to home ownership are not just a problem for property markets. The fallout is likely to hit retirement incomes, the welfare base, gender equity and the broader economy.

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