Professor Duncan Maclennan, from Policy Scotland has has published an article, with three other authors, on the need for a policy reboot to transform the housing system in Australia from being part of the problem to part of the solution.
When it comes to Australia’s housing, the COVID-19 crisis has only served to highlight deep and long-standing faultlines.
A new report from the New South Wales Productivity Commission (NSWPC) announces that “[higher] housing costs […] impose broader economic costs”. That chimes with our own newly published research. The implication is that Australia’s heavily capitalised housing market will weigh down economic recovery from the shocks of the coronavirus pandemic.
The housing system has produced triple crises of rising homelessness, growing queues for non-market, affordable housing and the pervasive affordability problems for middle- and lower-income households who depend on the private housing market. All these pressures were building well before the pandemic. However, a particularly cruel COVID-19 effect has been the concentration of pandemic impacts on public-facing economic sectors and jobs. Younger people and female employees have been hit hardest. The fallout in the lower end of the labour market will only make existing pressures worse.
The housing system plays key roles in shaping economic productivity, stability and inequality. With this in mind, our report lays out a wide-ranging “housing and productivity” research agenda.
The hope must be that the resulting evidence helps trigger the policy reboot needed to transform the housing system from being part of the problem to part of the solution.
- Hal Pawson, Professor of Housing Research and Policy, and Associate Director, City Futures Research Centre, UNSW
- Bill Randolph, Director, City Futures Research Centre, Faculty of the Built Environment, UNSW
- Chris Leishman, Professor of Housing Economics, University of Adelaide
- Duncan Maclennan, Professorial Research Fellow in Urban Economics, UNSW; Professor of Strategic Urban Management and Finance, University of St Andrews; Professor in Public Policy, University of Glasgow