The Fifth Estate’s recent Let’s Hack Housing Surround Sound event was bursting with ideas on how to finance affordable housing – some we’ve heard before, others refreshingly new. There were floor space and tax incentives for developers, the re-labelling of affordable housing as economic infrastructure to attract super funds and other investors, pop-up communities subsidised by government and the private sector, and new projects containing everything from market-priced housing to disabled and aged care housing in the one development.
The ideas may have been wide ranging but the goal was the same – to grow the stock of social and affordable housing as quickly as possible.
And the search for solutions to Sydney’s housing affordability crisis inevitably circles back to finance. As a society how do we pay for it? This is a particular problem in a city renowned for property speculation largely unrestrained, and sometimes encouraged, by government policy.
Australia has super funds with an abundance of money to invest but an expectation residential property should achieve similar returns to commercial property. On the government policy side, incentives to invest in affordable or social housing have been in short supply, while mechanisms such as negative gearing have, many argue, fuelled rampant property speculation…(continues)
SOURCE: “Let’s Hack Housing: all the stories”, The Fifth Estate, 25th jan 2017
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