Australia’s Housing Crisis: How It Happened And A Path Forward

walk up apartments with balconies and a parking lot
Public housing in Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia. There are long waiting lists for public housing in all parts of the country.

Reading the news these days informs us that we are facing multiple crises: climate change, housing and political discord are three examples. The level of political discord makes it difficult for governments to take effective action. It also leaves experts and regular folks feeling powerless to do anything to bring meaningful change.

The Asia and Pacific Policy Society (the Society) responds to this sense of impotence. The Society curates academic research and strives to get the attention of policy makers and decision makers. The Society recently convened four podcasts about housing in Australia. The discussions address growing levels of homelessness and unaffordability. The participants discuss a range of policy responses that research indicates should ease these challenges. Topics include:

    • The central role of the housing market in Australia’s economy
    • How social housing (where rents are geared to incomes) affects the welfare of all Australians
    • The impact of land use and zoning regulations
    • The role of housing in the climate crisis and prospects for change

The series provides an overview of the history and impacts of neoliberal economic policies, which prompted Australia to abandon its social housing programs. Neoliberal economic policies have made some people much wealthier. These policies have also undercut the prospects of people who do not own real estate. Similar effects can be identified in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Readers outside Australia may be particularly interested in the policy responses that are discussed in podcasts.

Here are links to each of the podcasts from the Asia and Pacific Policy Society’s Policy Forum:
Australia’s Dependence on Housing
Fixing Our Social Housing Crisis
Reimagining Urban Planning
Housing Fit For Our Climate