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Why is it important to boost the supply of affordable housing in Australia--and how can we do it?

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Housing affordability has fallen in Australia over the past decade, in spite of sustained economic growth in the national economy. This paper argues that this outcome raises serious economic and social questions, especially in relation to the prospects and welfare of younger Australians. A lack of affordable housing has negative consequences for the competitiveness and efficiency of the Australian economy and for the maintenance of social cohesion in society. Existing housing policies, it is also argued, are demonstrably not working to offset or reverse the trend of declining affordability. New policies are required, especially those that would attract more private investment into the affordable end of the housing market. The main part of this paper outlines and critically compares a range of possible models or approaches that have recently been put forward to this end.
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Keywords: cohesion; growth; housing affordability; housing policy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Social Science & Planning, RMIT University. [email protected]

Publication date: 01 December 2003

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