National Housing Policy in Australia: Are New Initiatives in Affordable Housing Sustainable?

By Lou Wilson, Michael Arman, George Zillante, Stephen Pullen, Jian Zuo and Nicholas Chileshe.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

House price growth in Australia has outstripped income growth to the point where more than one million low and middle income households are now experiencing housing stress. Moreover, social housing provision has been gradually wound back in Australia since the 1980s in favour of a residual model based on tax concessions and subsidies, that has exacerbated the problem. However innovative policies introduced in 2009 by the Australian Government in response to the global economic crisis suggest a change in direction that might offer new, affordable social housing in a difficult economic climate. This paper critically reviews affordable housing policy in Australia and new initiatives such as the National Affordable Housing Agreements. We conclude that current initiatives remain constrained by hastily implemented policies, a ‘rush to build’ and a reluctance to provide an ongoing commitment to social housing.

Keywords: Housing Policy, Economic Crisis, Affordable Housing

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.129-148. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 952.433KB).

Dr. Lou Wilson

Lecturer in Urban & Regional Planning (Social Planning), School of Natural and Built Environment, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

I am a sociologist at the University of South Australia. I have research interests in sustainable communities; housing policy; social inclusion/exclusion, social cohesion and social capital. I am currently working on a project that seeks to assess the effectiveness of public expenditure in reducing social exclusion. I am also part of a research team that is developing a model to address tensions between the social, economic and environmental dimensions of urban development and the implications for assessing sustainable development in urban areas.

Michael Arman

Research Scholar, School of Natural and Built Environment, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

I am a Research Associate at the University of South Australia. My research interests are in the fields of housing affordability, ecological economics and sustainability. I also work as an urban and regional practice for a private consultancy firm.

Dr. George Zillante

Associate Professor, School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

George Zillante is Associate Professor and Head of Building at University of South Australia. He has qualifications in Architecture, Urban & Regional Planning, Building Surveying, Business Administration and Construction and has worked (and continues to work) at the professional level in those fields. Over the years George has done a lot of work in the field of Building Legislation and this has resulted in his appointment to many Government Committees including, inter alia, Chair of the South Australian Building Advisory Committee, member of the South Australian Development Policy Advisory Committee, member of several Australian Building Codes Board Committees as well as representing the Australian Construction Industry on the International Association for the Professional Management of Construction. This interest in Building Legislation led George to establish the Centre for Building & Planning Studies at UniSA in 1993 and has resulted in several research projects dealing with the impacts of legislation on development and, more recently on Bushfires and Government Policy responses to the impact of Bushfires and Organisational Change. George is also a member of several Professional Bodies (RICS, AIBS, AIB, ACCE etc) and serves on a number of Education and Accreditation Committees.

Dr. Stephen Pullen

Senior Lecturer, School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

I started my career as a Materials Scientist in the UK carrying out research and development into new building materials and processes. I took up a position as a Materials Consultant at the Australian Mineral Development Laboratories in Adelaide in 1985 and was involved in the performance and testing of materials including forensic investigations linked to the construction industry. In 1990 I joined the University of South Australia lecturing in building science and materials. Since that time, I have been the Program Director for the undergraduate degree program in Construction Management & Economics and I am currently the Program Director for the postgraduate programs in Facilities & Asset Management.

Dr. Jian Zuo

Lecturer, School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Dr. Jian Zuo has a PhD from the University of South Australia and a Masters degree in Engineering from Wuhan University, in the Peoples Republic of China. Currently he is a lecturer and researcher in the School of Natural and Built Environments His main research interests relate to the sustainable built environment, the impacts of cultural factors and procurement approaches on the performance of construction projects.

Dr. Nicholas Chileshe

Senior Lecturer, School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Dr. Nicholas Chileshe is currently a Senior Lecturer in Construction and Project Management at the University of South Australia. Prior to his appointment in July 2009, he worked in the United Kingdom for 10 years at Sheffield Hallam University. His last appointment was that of a Senior Lecturer (0.8FTE) and Principal Lecturer (International Business Developer) responsible for Africa and the Middle East within the Faculty of Development and Society. Dr Chileshe obtained his PhD in 2004 from Sheffield Hallam University (UK) and his thesis focused on the application of Total Quality Management (TQM) within Small and Medium sized Construction Organisations. Dr Chileshe is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building (FCIOB); Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Fellow of the Association of Building Engineers (FBEng); and Corporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management (MCIM)

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