States drag feet on affordable housing, with Victoria the worst – The Conversation

Extract from an article by Carolyn Whitzman

Moral panic over recent increases in visibly homeless people in central Melbourne has brought to the fore the critical shortage of affordable housing across the metropolitan areas of Australia’s wealthiest cities. But living on the street is only the tip of the iceberg. Many more households are living in insecure and/or overpriced accommodation. Their plight is due to an undersupply of appropriately priced, sized and situated rental housing.

The Commonwealth government is reportedly planning to scrap the National Affordable Housing Agreement with the states. Without a clear alternative, the weakness of state policies, which lack clear targets and mechanisms for providing more and better affordable housing, adds to the problem. One state, Victoria, still doesn’t have an affordable housing strategy.

South Australia’s strategy has 15% inclusionary zoning as one of several mechanisms to achieve affordable housing targets. Western Australia provides regular progress updates on the regional targets of its Affordable Housing Strategy 2010-2020. Tasmania adopted a ten-year strategy in 2015.

New South Wales has had affordable housing policies in place since 2009. The NSW government has a new plan to build more social housing and improve existing stock. Queensland released a draft strategy in March 2016.

While these state policies vary in their success, Victoria does not even have a strategy to critique…(continues)

SOURCE: Carolyn Whitzman, “States drag feet on affordable housing, with Victoria the worst”, The Conversation, 15 Feb 2017

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BroCAP is produced by the two librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia.

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