A landmark survey of every Australian municipality has revealed the country’s patchwork approach to the housing affordability crisis.
Less than half of the nation’s 546 councils responded for the Housing Locally report — in itself a suggestion of apathy — the first attempt to comprehensively survey local government on affordability, and those that did overwhelmingly said the problem was beyond their powers to fix.
“The big message is, and it’s not terribly surprising, a lot of local governments recognise there is a serious affordable housing issue but they feel absolutely powerless,” Alan Morris, one of the report authors and research professor at the University of Technology Sydney, said.
While the majority of councils that responded acknowledged there was a problem, with the results more pronounced in city areas than regional, many councils reported they didn’t prioritise housing affordability because they do not have the funding, housing stock or policies available to them to tackle the problem.
Mr Morris said without macro policy and funding commitments from federal and state governments, councils were not equipped to deal with the issue.
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