As in many other nations, Australia’s intensifying shortage of affordable housing represents one of the most pressing policy challenges for government. Against a backdrop of ongoing population growth, the 20-year virtual moratorium on public housing construction means that, by 2016, the gross social housing provision deficit had reached 140,000 dwellings. And, while largely frozen in scale, the country’s public housing system has also become increasingly residualised and rundown. In tackling these twin problems, some policy-makers and advocates have invested hopes in an emerging non-government affordable housing industry, largely configured around not-for-profit community housing providers. For some government players, however, the sector’s nascent status and therefore ‘restricted capacity’ has been judged a crucial limitation on the extent to which it can be reasonably delegated responsibility for easing national housing stress. Applying a system-minded conception of the ‘affordable housing industry’ and adopting a multidimensional ‘capacity’ framework, this research investigated the factors limiting the scope for the industry’s further expansion. In highlighting industry capacity restrictions stemming from the hollowing-out of government and its institutions, our findings connect with a wider policy studies literature and will have resonance in many countries beyond Australia – particularly in the Anglophone world.
SOURCE: Pawson, H. Milligan, V. & Martin, C. “Building Australia’s affordable housing industry: capacity challenges and capacity-enhancing strategies.” International Journal of Housing Policy, 28 May 2018.
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The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present
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