• Tristan Angelini

Affordable Housing Challenges in Australia

There has been a rise in challenges when it comes to housing affordability especially because of the strong economy, and the federal government not involving into these matters even worsened the problem. However, there are approaches to housing planning that can be taken from some cities which made various results. First off, let’s discuss affordable housing in Melbourne.

Affordable housing in Victoria has been defined recently for Greater Melbourne and Victoria in terms of price points and incomes. This enabled some development protection for all renters. In 2015-2016, housing stress was experienced by a number of renters, which actually reached about over 142,685, mainly because almost 50 percent of their income would go to rent or mortgage payments. Overall supply is not really the dilemma here, it’s the price points of the dwellings where the price points go beyond the means of households that have reached 64 percent. This would most definitely call for housing affordability that would meet the needs of the people.

So, how have different cities responded to the issues surrounding housing affordability and what can we learn from them?

Because there is a huge inadequacy in terms of housing affordability in many states and cities, there is an apparent need for adjustments. For instance, Vancouver was still able to manage to scale up housing delivery especially to low-income households. The housing was much more affordable than Melbourne, and like Vancouver, Portland have developed programs such as build-to-rent and more affordable rentals that are accessible to a lot of transport lines. There are important lessons that the Victorian must take away from cities like Vancouver, Portland, and Toronto. Here are some of those:

- It is important that there is a clear definition of affordable housing, which includes the provisions.

- Housing needs must be calculated depending on households and income groups.

- It is important to set housing targets that are attainable. Infrastructure Victoria and Everybody’s Home set a target of 30,000 affordable homes for the low- and moderate-income households. It is also important to set local housing targets that are based on infrastructure and capacity.

- Available sites must be identified – both public and government-owned sites that are affordable and well located.

- A market rental housing is another strategy Vancouver has embraced. The city has enabled over 7,000 moderately affordable rental apartments that are accessible to transport lines.

- Portland introduced provisions that are mandatory. It’s 20 percent of new housing developments that are affordable to low-income households, and 10 perfect for the very low-income ones.

- It’s also important to have an agency for these changes, just like what Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency was meant to do.

Of course, these are just some of the things the Victorian government could adapt from other cities that were also affected by some issues regarding housing affordability but was able to respond in a way that really had helped to solve these issues. It will not be the same for every city, but it is important to know more avenues.


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