Friday, May 20, 2022

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.”

‘It’s Like Reading Roman History’: The Truth About Australia’s Housing Market

Australia’s housing market is “like reading Roman history” one Reddit user has claimed in a thread bemoaning the fact that some Australian houses have made more money over a 50 year period than their owners.

Entitled, “An interesting anecdote about housing and price booms,” the thread explains how property can accumulate more value just sitting there than its owner can by sweating their backside off for half a century.

Statistics back this theory up. As The Conversation reported last year, “Real home prices across Australia have climbed 150% since 2000, while real wages have climbed by less than a third.”

Melbourne could soon become the cheapest city for renters

…while Canberra remains the most expensive

House rents have hit record highs in every capital city in Australia except Melbourne, Perth and Darwin.

But for the first time on record, Melbourne has become the second-most-affordable capital city in Australia in which to rent a house, equal with Perth and behind Adelaide.

Melbourne could become the most affordable city in the country in which to rent a house and unit this year, if present trends continue.

Read the full article at www.abc.net.au

 

USYD symposium to focus on affordable housing

The inaugural Rothwell Chair Symposium will be held at the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning (SADP) in April, with the conference focussing on social and affordable housing design on a local and international scale.

Curated by SADP and 2021 Pritzker Prize Laureates Anne Lacaton & Jean-Philippe Vassal, the symposium will explore the topic of ‘Living in the city – exemplary social and affordable housing design.’ Lacaton & Vassal will discuss a number of their projects across the three evening sessions, with the symposium featuring Australian architectural firms and researchers, with an emphasis on engaging political, financial and planning contexts.

View original web page at architectureanddesign.com.au

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.

4 key leadership skills for a post-COVID-19 workplace

Many organisations have realised the benefits of allowing employees to work remotely, and as a result, some of the global workforce may never return to the office. According to the PwC US Pulse Survey, 54% of CFOs indicated that their companies plan to make remote work a permanent option. That means managers may soon have to figure out the best way to manage teams that are partially remote.

Many of the traits that have always been important for managers — empathy, clarity, authenticity, and agility — are even more crucial during this time of uncertainty and upheaval. Leaders have been challenged to maintain connection and a sense of belonging within their teams even when they cannot be in the same room together. As leaders begin to stage the return to work, they have an opportunity to leverage new insights and advancements developed during the past several months to reimagine the workplace, rather than attempting a return to business as usual.

“We certainly don’t want to just snap back to the way we were before,” said Karen O’Duil, FCMA, CGMA, financial controller at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. “We want to build on this level of flexibility that accommodates everybody.”

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.