How Australia’s Housing Became ‘A Closed Shop’ Favouring ‘Already-Owners’

external view of a home in Melbourne Australia
An architect designed home in 1954 in Melbourne, AU. Today, the only people who can afford it are people who already own houses.

Currently around the world, country after country allows and/or actively encourages a gambler’s haven — the use of housing ownership, not (or only incidentally) as shelter, but as chips in a casino for high rollers.

The result increasingly seems much the same in every country. Those who already have housing are players in the market. Meanwhile, there those who don’t have it, but would love it and have had reasonable access to it in the past, but not any more. They are being squeezed out of the ownership market and/or fall prey to investor-vultures gobbling up rental housing and making it, too, unaffordable.

Countries by and large develop and enact policies independent of each other. And yet there must be commonalities of process. Today, a profoundly essential human need seems to be slipping backwards away from a noble sentiment but not yet unfortunately a universal law — that every human has a right to adequate housing.

So where did countries go wrong in this endeavour? Are there entirely different routes to multiple versions of what seems to be a universally shared and increasingly disastrous housing crisis? Or in the actions of the last few decades can one or more common missteps be identified in every country’s policymaking that today might be nipped in the bud at worst, or identified for active remediation at best?

Has your country put its foot wrong, by craft or by carelessness? Can the same mistake be pinpointed in the actions in other countries, reinforcing a need to take action both nationally, even internationally?

It’s an argument that can be made for examining how other presumably well-meaning governments have managed to get things wrong. Here’s an exploration of how one, country, Australia, seems to have mislaid its human rights objectives while racing for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow to be exploited by fewer and fewer of the wealthier and wealthier. Read more in The Conversation: How Policies Favouring Rich, Older People Make Young Australians Generation F-d