Experts focus on housing affordability

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

The University of Adelaide will host some of the best global minds in housing research today, Wednesday 6 February, at the annual Australasian Housing Researchers’ Conference (AHRC). Delegates will discuss and seek solutions to the pressing social issue of housing affordability.

“Housing issues are widely and immediately recognised as being important by a wide cross-section in our society,” says Professor Chris Leishman, Director, Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning (CHURP) who is convening the conference.

“Very few of us, or our immediate family or friends, have escaped difficulties related to accessing safe, decent and affordable housing at some point in our lives.

“Australia’s housing affordability problem has reached such a serious level that these issues are now recognised as being of paramount importance across political divides,” he says.

Housing affordability is an issue which affects many different sectors of society:
• An increasing number of people on lower incomes are under ‘housing cost stress’ in which more than 30 per cent of their net income is spent on housing
• A higher proportion of renters are in housing cost stress than people with a mortgage
• An increasing number of people are still renting well into their thirties
• Younger people are living longer with their parents
• More people are approaching retirement with a mortgage still to pay off.

“South Australia has a long history of innovation in tackling housing affordability. The state has always been known for its historically large stock of public housing as a proportion of all dwellings and is one of only two states with a state-owned housing finance provider that aims to widen access to home ownership. Adelaide is a perfect place to discuss solutions to the ongoing problem of housing affordability,” says Professor Leishman.

Experts from Australia, New Zealand and the UK will focus on a range of topics including build-to-rent housing development; homelessness – causes and policy solutions; housing issues of - and policies to help - indigenous Australians; new models of housing tenure and consumption; housing quality, energy efficiency and design issues; impacts of social housing on people’s lives and housing issues related to ageing.

“There are no obvious solutions to the housing affordability crisis that have not already been tried or largely failed, and so there is a pressing need for new ideas and solutions that can succeed,” says Professor Leishman.

“The challenge for the best minds in housing research is to develop effective policy interventions to the ongoing problem of housing affordability.”

The Australasian Housing Researchers’ Conference is at the University of Adelaide from Wednesday 6 to Friday 8 February 2019. More information about the conference is available online.


Contact Details

Professor Chris Leishman
Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning
The University of Adelaide
Mobile: +61 (0)450 356 975

Crispin Savage
Media and Communications Officer
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 (0)481 912 465