Britain offers ideas on affordable housing

The expansion of community housing in Britain has seen the sector gain scale and access cheaper financing to upgrade dwellings and build new homes, which could provide a model for Australia, experts say.

As affordable dwellings that were previously under the management of local councils have been transferred to community housing providers in Britain, the sector has been transformed.

The experience offers insights for Australia as the federal government forges ahead with a plan to allow cheap financing for ­affordable housing stock.

In Australia, most social housing is owned by state governments and a smaller proportion is community housing — although there is a push to transfer a smaller amount of units to community housing providers.

This transfer of stock was “the best thing” in British housing policy for many years, Incommunities chief executive Geraldine Howley said on a visit to Melbourne for the International Housing Partnership Exchange conference.

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