Share |
Mar 16, 2012

Affordable housing key to a sustainable city

Good planning plus affordable housing equals a liveable city (The Age, Comment 16/3) offers a serious challenge to the Government to address housing affordability – and it comes well overdue.

Housing is the biggest cost of living issue in Australia, with one in ten households under housing stress. As Whitzman and Giles-Corti correctly note, it’s the search for affordable housing that’s pushed families to the edges of the city. While they say this issue goes beyond the supply of housing, it’s a central problem that cannot be ignored.

The Baillieu Government must heed this warning when developing its new metropolitan strategy and make sure Melbourne has a plan to deliver more affordable housing.

The Federal Government can help by creating a Growth Fund with an annual allocation of $2.5 billion a year to provide 100,000 affordable homes over five years, across the country, and the state government should match their fair share.

Housing affordability is not an easy fix, but it is not impossible. The time to address this worsening crisis is in the upcoming State and Federal Budgets and not a moment later.

By Australians for Affordable Housing Campaign Manager, Sarah Toohey

Australians for Affordable Housing is a coalition of national housing, welfare and community sector organisations to highlight the problem of housing affordability in Australia. For more information visit

  • shared balance of power

    You need to decide if you are going create a political party to stand in the senate. It will take 12 months to lock in the support.

    • Anonymous

      Housing affordability is too important to have just one political party looking out for it – it needs to be part of the platform for every single major party in Australia – that’s what we’re campaigning for.

  • shared balance of power

    Being involved in an organization like this one is an enjoyable experience. Already you have a fledgling media profile. The list of supporters is a real credit to you and your cohort.

    That is, it will be a fun 10 years of interesting debate and exposure to those in the political echelons.

    And no one would knock you for taking that as enough.

    But nothing will be achieved other than that because, though the moral argument is powerful, and the high moral ground is fought hard over in any political contest for good reason, being in housing stress is a minority position, and dealing with it is taken as a threat to personal wealth by the majority.

    As a result, as sure as night follows day, you will have no material impact on the issue at hand.

    Those that oppose addressing the issue, though you will at times be encourage by their involvement, and the conversations you have with them, will only comply under the force of Law.

    The reduction in tribalism of party alliance, and the compulsory preferential voting system, means parliaments are likely to continue with more minority balance of power situations.

    Therefore, if you want to actually get change you need to take that balance of power.

    All the stars have aligned.

    My reading of the situation is that the issue would get enough votes to hold the BOP no matter who wins government.

    That means you wont have to make deals with any party, if that is your concern. You can treat them all equally.

    No problem either way.

    All the best!


    Stay informed