Thursday, April 14, 2011

Housing Affordability: Has planning contributed to the housing affordability crisis?

Australians have had a long history of home ownership, and Berry (1999) estimated that more than 90% of middle-aged and older Australians alive today have owned a dwelling at some stage in there life. But, a concerning trend is that since the 1990’s home owner ship has been in steady decline (Berry, 1999). This decline is attributed to the significant increases in housing prices, whilst incomes have not followed suit. Ultimately, creating a barrier for the most vulnerable groups in society, and first time home buyers from gaining access to home ownership or being able to afford private rental housing (Beer et al, 2006; AHURI, 2003).
The housing sector argues that the increase in housing prices is a result of government land use regulation. It’s argued that the policy of urban consolidation and urban containment are driving the increase in land prices, which is a significant factor housing prices. Therefore, I’m going to take this opportunity to examine the link between the housing affordability and Victorian land use planning system.

Housing Affordability

AHURI defines housing affordability as a measure of the financial outcome for a household renting or purchasing the dwelling they need or wish to live in. Community Indicators Victoria state that housing affordability in Victoria is amongst the worst in Australia, with the number of households under mortgage stress increasing from 71,287 in 2001 to 140,960 in 2006 — an increase of 98 per cent. This compared with a national rise of 89 per cent.

more about Australian urban planning:

Urban Nation: Australia's Planning Heritage

Ebook: Australian Urban Planning

Sydney Cycle Strategy: Building a Bicycle Friendly City

Evaluating urban transport and land use policies through the use of an accessibility modelling framework

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