There has been a lot of attention in government, the media and the community about housing supply and affordability in recent times. This is not a new issue but has been developing over the last 20 years. However, it is now impossible to ignore.
The SA Chapter has participated in three recent forums to discuss this issue:
The Economics and Finance committee Inquiry into Housing Supply
The Opposition Housing Policy Round Table
The UniSA Round Table to discuss the impact of implementation of NCC 2022 on housing in South Australia
These have been complemented by work being undertaken by the SA Chapter President in the Housing Minister’s Liaison Group, the NCC 2022 Implementation Working Group and the Build Environment Education Liaison Group.
All these discussions have provided an opportunity for the Institute to advocate for quality, healthy, inclusive housing and a rethink of our expectations around housing.
Yes, some people will be able to afford and want ‘typical’ Australian homes, which are the largest on average in the world. However, for the growing demographic of single person households and those who need a more affordable option, there is a need for increased diversity. Would anyone choose to be homeless or suffer significant financial stress over a smaller home? And then there are the people who just don’t want a home that greatly exceeds the space they need to have a good life. Or those who have embraced sufficiency to minimise their environmental impact.
For social and affordable housing, we need to rethink the current volume housing sector delivery approach, which is clearly not delivering the required outcomes. Low-cost housing is very hard to make commercially viable without significantly compromising quality. This results in social, health and economic impacts, which are a cost to the whole community. However, if government directly invested in housing for the most vulnerable in our society, the cost would be offset by savings in other government spending. We have excellent precedent for this approach in the SAHT housing during the late 1960’s to 1980’s. Projects by community housing providers such as Common Group continue this legacy today.
The housing conversation will continue in the work being done in connection with the OUR ADELAIDE. OUR FUTURE City Plan – Adelaide 2036 and the Greater Adelaide Regional Plan (GARP). Both are currently undertaking public consultation, which the SA Chapter is participating in. The GARP Discussion Paper is available for review until 6 November 2023. There are a range of consultation activities being held by PLUS, with information available on the PLUS website. Information about the City Plan is also available on the webpage.
We encourage members to be involved. This can be via the work being undertaken by the Chapter or as individuals. Advocacy by the SA Chapter is available on the Institute’s Advocacy and News page of the website. If you would like further information or to find out more about how you can be involved please contact me.
Nicolette Di Lerna