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 www.housingstressed.org.au
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