Thursday, June 17, 2021

Category: In The Media

Australia’s housing crisis: it’s one of the most unaffordable in the world, so how is the Coalition going to fix it?

The Morrison government’s incentives to help people become homeowners may come to nothing without an increase in housing supply

With many Australians locked out of the housing market or staring down the barrel of a 40-year, million-dollar-plus mortgage, the federal government has proposed a raft of policies aimed at addressing housing affordability in Tuesday’s federal budget.

But whether they will help bring ownership within reach of more people is unclear, especially since housing supply and zoning powers lie with the state governments.

Island homes: Tasmania election campaign offers few solutions to state’s housing crisis

Housing stress is at an all-time high in Tasmania, shutting out first-home buyers, squeezing the rental market and increasing homelessness

Before Sue Hickey entered state politics as a Liberal MP in 2018, she was Hobart’s lord mayor. Pledging to clean up public toilets and local politics, she also took a keen interest in the plight of people experiencing homelessness.

“You’d see these faces come out of nowhere,” Hickey says, recalling night tours of the city with food van staff and volunteers.

“You’d arrive, you wouldn’t see them, and then all these people just desperate for a sandwich and a Milo with five sugars would appear.”

Those outings were an eye-opener for Hickey, but for most Tasmanians homelessness and housing insecurity were out of sight, out of mind.

The tiny house movement is booming — so why aren’t more of us actually living in them?

Despite early forecasts of a COVID-driven slump, house prices are now surging in many parts of Australia. This is further widening the gap between the housing “haves” and “have-nots”, and we are seeing related rises in housing stress, rental insecurity and homelessness.

In Australia and elsewhere a movement has emerged that supports tiny house living as an important response to the housing affordability crisis. One of us argued in 2017:

“[Tiny houses] have significant potential to be a catalyst for infill development, either as tiny house villages, or by relaxing planning schemes to allow owners and tenants to situate well-designed tiny houses on suburban lots.”

Hate Crimes Targeting Sydney’s Indigenous Homeless

On Wednesday 24 March, Michael*, an Indigenous man, was asleep on Eddy Avenue outside of Central Station when he was shaken awake. A friend urgently warned him that known intruders – “Black haters” wearing jackets adorned with swastikas – were on the way. Michael was not fast enough and, less than a kilometre from Surry Hills Police Station, was violently beaten.

Michael was not the only casualty that night. And that night was not the first that Sydney’s homeless were awoken to the reality of White supremacy while the rest of Australia’s eyes remained firmly shut.

Read the full story on Independent Australia website.

*Name has been changed.

My work-life boundary is totally eviscerated—but it’s also what’s kept me sane

Zoom call. Zoom call. Zoom call. Bathroom break. Bite to eat. Zoom call. Teams call. Then it’s a dash of real work, then open the door to my office for a breath of air. From there, it’s time to prepare for the next round of chaos: Two energetic toddlers, an equally tired-out wife, and an attention-seeking small dog. After preparing dinner, it’s a whirlwind two-hour rodeo of baths, books, and bedtime wrangling.

Of course, I’m unrealistically compartmentalizing what working from home during the pandemic is really like. But this is a reasonable enough approximation.

Queensland pensioners demanding government action on ‘unfair’ lifestyle village rent price hikes

Queensland pensioners living in lifestyle villages are demanding action from the government, following an extensive investigation into the multi-billion-dollar industry by 9News.

Residents claim park owners are unfairly jacking up their rents, while others allege big corporations are failing to honour their rental contracts.

“When you move into a village like this, you move in for retirement, you don’t move in to fight battles in QCAT or a court of law,” Paul Miller, a resident at Regal Waters in Bethania, said.

Read the original article on 9News.

Sydney’s biggest social experiment: The plan to turn Waterloo into a ‘world-class precinct’

Waterloo’s housing estate tenants are fighting the government’s attempt to erase the towers from Sydney’s skyline and to save their homes.

It was a hot, stormy day a week before Christmas in 2015 when Anna North ripped open an envelope that had landed in the letterbox of her apartment at a vast public housing estate in inner Sydney.

“Dear tenant, I am excited to write to you,” it read.

A new state-of-the-art metro train station was to be built in Waterloo, and the state government was seizing the opportunity to remake the sprawling 1970s estate, selling off valuable land in the city’s thriving inner south to developers.

Read the full story in SMH.

Wollongong Homeless Hub joins national calls for a support package to help end rough sleeping

An Illawarra-based homelessness service has echoed national calls for a support package to help end rough sleeping. “Successful models such as Housing First used in countries like Finland show that ending homelessness is achievable and more than just a pipe dream,” Mandy Booker, manager of Wollongong Homeless Hub said.

Read the full article in the Illawarra Mercury.

Community Housing Sector Welcomes Low-Cost Funding Option

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) is welcoming the arrival of a low-cost funding avenue for community organisations working to provide good homes for New Zealanders.

Chief Executive Scott Figenshow says Community Finance will be a valuable addition to the range of funding options for community housing providers looking for capital to build homes.

“Access to capital and land are ongoing challenges for community housing providers so we are really glad to see the arrival of a company with strong connections in the sector and a commitment to the ethics and principles underpinning community housing,” he says.

Read the full article here.

Source: Scoop

Australian Housing Scheme Still Ambitious

It only took a relationship breakdown for one Victorian father to be forced into sleeping in his car or on a couch, while his children shared a room at his mother’s two-bedroom bungalow.

The daily routine of dropping off and picking up his two young children at school in the next town over from his mum’s made finding stable work challenging.

This hurdle was overcome when in 2018 the trio got a home with Habitat for Humanity, an international affordable housing organisation.

Read the full article in the North West Star.