Owning one’s own home has long been understood as the Great Australian Dream, but when we look beneath the rhetoric the facts about Australia’s housing market in the 21st Century are grim: home ownership rates are falling sharply, housing stress is increasing for both mortgagees and tenants, key workers on middle incomes are increasingly locked out of secure housing within a reasonable commute of their jobs, and we are failing low and fixed income households in need of secure, subsidised shelter.
How did we get here? How do we begin to understand the social and economic consequences of such enormous changes to the role and function of housing over the past 30 years? And what, if anything, can be done to reverse course, to reposition the home as a source of shelter and security for all, rather than material wealth for a few?
Per Capita’s report for the V&F Housing Enterprise Foundation, Housing Affordability in Australia – Tackling a Wicked Problem, sets out an evidence base to assist in answering these questions. It demonstrates that housing costs are reaching a crisis point for too many Australians. The report was launched on 3 May 2022 at the Australian Communities Foundation.