JOHN MENADUE, SUSAN RYAN AND OLIVER FRANKEL. Update to May 2017 ‘Making Housing Affordable’ series

Pearls and Irritations continues to publish various blogs on housing affordability, recognising that the cost of and accessibility to appropriate housing remains out of reach for a significant part of the Australian population.

In May 2017, we published a series of blogs entitled Making Housing Affordable, looking at key aspects of the housing crisis, and possible avenues for reform.  Contributions were provided from a range of experts and other key stakeholders.  A downloadable PDF of that series is available here.


One year on, Pearls and Irritations will be publishing (from Monday 21 May) an update to the Making Housing Affordable series, by way of a pulse check on what has changed both on the ground and in terms of reform initiatives.

As readers will see, there is sadly little of a positive nature to report, particularly in terms of meaningful reform.   While the breathtaking rate of increase in house prices has thankfully slowed (or even reversed modestly) in some of our largest capital cities, it has escalated rapidly in others, notably Tasmania.  Housing across our major urban centres remains largely unaffordable to buy or rent for those on lower incomes.  Furthermore, the rate of homelessness shows no sign of abating.

The forthcoming update series of blogs features contributions by well-known independent economist Saul Eslake and Grattan Institute CEO, John Daley and his colleague Brendan Coates, and also includes blogs from UNSW’s City Futures Research Centre Professor Hal Pawson and his colleague Dr Chris Martin, Sydney University Professor Peter Phibbs, Jack de Groot (CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society NSW), Wendy Hayhurst (CEO of the NSW Federation of Housing Associations), Ned Cutcher (Senior Policy Officer with Shelter NSW) and Leo Patterson Ross (Senior Policy Officer with Tenants’ Union of NSW).

We hope you will find this series of updates informative and would welcome your suggestions and comments on the issues and ideas canvassed by the contributors.


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1 Response to JOHN MENADUE, SUSAN RYAN AND OLIVER FRANKEL. Update to May 2017 ‘Making Housing Affordable’ series

  1. Heather Kenway says:

    In the New York Review of Books (emailed to me 30 April) there is a reference in an article by Mira Kamdar, “A Grand Redesign for Paris”, to the banlieu of Pantin:
    ‘As I got to know Pantin better—with its diverse population, ethnic food shops, and street banter in Bangladeshi, Arabic, and Chinese—I began to feel more at home there than I ever did in Paris. Within the coddled confines of the City of Light, I was an American ex-pat. In Pantin, I’m just another immigrant, if a privileged one, in the administrative department of Seine-Saint-Denis where about a third of residents are immigrants.

    Since I moved here in 2013, the town has changed dramatically. It’s still diverse, and Pantin’s mayor, Bertrand Kern, is intent on keeping it that way; he has ensured that all new residential construction—and there is a lot of it—respect the town’s relatively high proportion of 38 percent subsidized, affordable housing. But there are also more and more young Parisians, attracted to a town that is not shy about branding itself as the “Brooklyn of Paris” and has made a concerted effort to attract members of the creative class and develop industries in design, fashion, and the fine arts.’
    What really struck me was the requirement for all new residential construction to maintain the relatively high proportion of 38 percent subsidized, affordable housing.
    French systems are doubtless very different from Australia’s. But could it possible to get such a requirement into our town planning? A question for Andrew Leigh perhaps.

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