Affordable home-ownership scheme offers a pathway out of social housing

Social housing is in crisis in Australia, with almost 200,000 people on waiting lists. Social housing made up 8% of all housing stock in Australia in 1966. This had fallen to just 4.3% at July 2016.

As a result, governments have tightened eligibility. Social housing is increasingly home to only the most vulnerable households. And even these households often spend years on the waiting list while experiencing severe housing stress or homelessness.

Outside of social housing, rental and ownership options are increasingly unaffordable, particularly in the capital cities. Social housing was once a stepping stone to home ownership, but this is becoming more difficult.

There is a solution

The Melbourne-based Barnett Foundation responded by creating a model of affordable home ownership for social housing tenants. The foundation developed a 34-unit apartment in the inner suburb of North Melbourne and offered 28 units to households living within 4km of the site and willing to leave their social housing. It’s called the Melbourne Apartments Project (MAP).

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Source: The Conversation