Why Australia’s governments, banks and economy don’t want ‘affordable’ housing

 

NOT THE FIRST TIME WE HAVE SEEN THIS CLAIM … AND WHY THERE IS A MEDIA COVER-UP …

CAAN will add to what has not been mentioned here …

NOT only was the housing boom orchestrated by the Reserve Bank but the big boys … the DEVELOPERS seized on the opportunity and pulled off the FIRB STING of 2009 … the 100 per cent sell-off to foreign buyers … creating a huge DEMAND!

The latest BOOM of 2012 coicided in NSW with the LNP Government subliminal message “Sydney is Growing” …

WHEN will we learn? Australia has invested most of its economy in China … all its eggs in one basket ditto our banks with 60 per cent of their total loans allocated to Australian mortgages.

With global interest rates on the rise that could put many households under stress …

The Turnbull Government rather than immediately enforcing the second tranche of the Anti-Money Laundering Legislation for the Real Estate Sector is pussy footing around proposing more than 12 months consultation on an alternative legislation …

The FEDS have largely nurtured Chinese investors with special Visas to gain residency following property purchase.

Meanwhile Australians are disadvantaged by low wages growth and insecure work!

ANALYSIS

Why Australia’s governments, banks and economy don’t want ‘affordable’ housing

Updated 

 

If you’ve ever spoken to a real estate agent, you would know there are only two scenarios when it comes to Australian property.

When the market is running hot, you need to get in quick. And when it’s cooling, it’s an opportunity to grab a bargain.

Either way, there’s never been a better time to buy.

Right now, Australian property is running hot and cold.

After nearly six years of either spectacular or frightening gains — depending on whether you own a home — capital city real estate is in reverse, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney.

But the trend is far from universal. In fact, it’s downright confusing.

High-end property has been hit hard while less expensive real estate continues to advance. And while the two major capitals are in decline, regional values are not only holding up, they’re stacking on gains.

In the three months to the end of April, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide all clocked up declines with Hobart the only capital to continue the kind of boom time gains to which we’ve all become accustomed.

Not only that, units are now outperforming houses, despite the huge surge in supply across our major capitals. Clearly, there is still strong demand for the most affordable housing.

The reasons? Some analysts argue last year’s crackdown by the banking regulator on investor loans, who mainly use interest-only finance to maximise the benefits of negative gearing, finally is having an impact.

But that doesn’t really explain these trends. Tightening investor credit was supposed to take the heat out of the market, particularly at the lower end. Clearly, that’s not happening, at least not yet.

The property nightmare scenario

There are only two things that keep senior Reserve Bank officials awake at night; China and Australian real estate.

RBA boss Philip Lowe has become increasingly vocal about China’s massive debt mountain and the dangers it poses for Australia should it implode.

 

But our housing market is equally as unnerving. Our major banks have a decidedly unhealthy exposure to domestic real estate, with up to 60 per cent of their total loans allocated to Australian mortgages.

After being burnt by big business in the 1987 stock market meltdown, they decided en masse that real estate was a safer option and poured trillions of dollars into home loans, which we consumers happily lapped up.

Having splurged so much on homes, our household debt, at just shy of 200 per cent of annual income, ranks among the world’s highest. Hocked to the eyeballs, it’s no wonder our household consumption is sluggish, retail sales are struggling and inflation is anaemic.

The problem is, if Australian real estate declines in any significant way, it will put a serious handbrake on the economy.

When the value of your major asset is going backwards, you’re less inclined to spend and less likely to be given credit. That, in turn, weakens the domestic economy which eventually leads to higher unemployment, mortgage defaults and, potentially, a banking crisis.

It’s a scenario no-one wants to even contemplate.

Why governments love real estate booms

It’s not just the banks who have a vested interest in keeping the property bubble bouncing along.

Every layer of government has become addicted to the great Australian dream, which in the past 40 years has transformed from owning your own patch of dirt to making a motza from property.

The Federal Government needs rising property prices to maintain a stable economy while state and local governments feed off the enormous fees and taxes it generates.

Since the latest boom began in late 2012, a boom deliberately orchestrated by the Reserve Bank to absorb construction workers leaving the mining industry as the resource investment boom wound down, state and local governments have seen property revenues rise by 65 per cent.

So the next time you hear a politician talk about the need for affordable housing, don’t believe a word of it. None of them offer any serious solutions primarily because they know there are only two options, neither of which are palatable.

Either property prices need to collapse, which would only occur as part of an apocalyptic economic event, or wages need to take off which no major party is likely to endorse. Everything else is just window dressing.

How governments pull the property lever

While some bears have been predicting a crash in Australian housing for decades, the chances have increased significantly in the past 18 months.

Global interest rates are on the rise which eventually will feed through to Australia and could put a significant number of households under stress, leading to higher defaults and lower property prices. Then there’s the clampdown on foreign ownership, particularly Chinese investors, who were skirting the law.

But the biggest concern has been supply. The building boom, particularly in the eastern capitals of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne has been unprecedented, much of it in high rise apartments.

Cranes dot the skies above our eastern capitals like never before. In fact, Sydney — which accounts for half the cranes across the nation — alone has the equivalent of 80 per cent of the cranes across all of North America.

Melbourne has a little less than half that of Sydney. In both cities, cranes for residential construction at last have begun to decline.

Instead there has been a dramatic pick-up in crane use for commercial and infrastructure use, as governments belatedly attempt to provide infrastructure to service the huge growth in population.

Therein lies the key as to why our property prices keep rising.

While our politicians bicker and argue about border control and handfuls of refugees, Australia quietly has run one of the biggest immigration programs of any developed nation.

Our population has been growing at around 1.6 per cent per annum, second only to New Zealand and well above the OECD average of 0.7 per cent.

 

While there’s nothing wrong with immigration, particularly if there is a need for a rapid lift in population, our large and growing intake has been used to give the impression that our economy has been travelling better than it appears.

While we are about to run up 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth on a national basis, as individuals, many of us are worse off. Wages growth is stagnant because, for all the claims of job creation, we’re barely standing still if you take the new arrivals into account.

When it comes to property prices, population growth has been every federal government’s secret weapon.

For years, we’ve been told our skyrocketing housing costs has been a supply problem. Instead, there has been a deliberate effort to keep piling on the demand, just to maintain the illusion of economic growth and to keep the real estate sales clicking over.

SOURCE:  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-28/affordable-housing-why-governments-dont-want-it/9806118

CAAN FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/Community-Action-Alliance-for-NSW-744190798994541/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

WEBSITE:

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress.com/

 

 

WHAT could be more divisive for Sydney than the Medium-Density Code for more of its Housing Supply that cannot meet the foreign demand?

Rob Stokes On “Sexist” Handshake Policy

ON the surface it may appear that former Planning Minister Stokes makes some valid points … however, if one digs a little deeper …

WHY is Roberts continuing to publicly champion the code … afterall what were those 53 meetings with developer groups from January to September 2017 about?  If not the low-rise Medium Density Housing Code?

CONTRARY to Mr Stokes what is depriving young Australian First Home Buyers from entering the housing market is the FIRB Ruling and the Budget Reg of May 2017 that allows developers to market Australian housing to foreign buyers particularly in China.

THIS REGULATION allows developers to continue to market overseas 100% of new developments of 49 dwellings or less.

SO how can it be alleged the Medium Density Housing Code is creating affordable housing for a whole Cohort of Australian First Home Buyers?

TO date much of the townhouse, duplex and terrace development is priced above that of a detached home on a full block of land!

 

Failing on medium-density housing will lead to a divided Sydney: Stokes

Failing to create more medium-density housing throughout Sydney’s suburbs will inevitably lead to a more divided city, the Education Minister and former planning minister, Rob Stokes, says.

Mr Stokes delivered a rousing defence of the state’s controversial “missing middle” housing policy this week, even as the government continues to grant exceptions from the code to different councils.

Mr Stokes’ successor as Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, also continues to publicly champion the code, which makes it easier for residents to subdivide suburban lots into terraces or so-called manor homes.

The former NSW planning minister, and current education minister, Rob Stokes, has championed more terrace housing across Sydney's suburbs.
The former NSW planning minister, and current education minister, Rob Stokes, has championed more terrace housing across Sydney’s suburbs.Photo: Anthony Johnson

But Mr Roberts this month started to grant councils temporary exceptions from the policy. Some councils have said they needed more time to determine areas in which the policy should apply.

In a speech to Parliament on Wednesday night, Mr Stokes used the example of a retired Mona Vale couple who wanted to turn their large suburban lot into two or three terraces.

Current planning law prevented them from doing this, Mr Stokes said, even though it potentially allowed the couple to turn their block into apartments, which they did not want to do.

“Old, rigid, bureaucratic” zoning laws threatened to “lock older people into homes that do not meet their needs, and deprive young people of the opportunity to purchase a home at all,” Mr Stokes said.

“Without meeting the need for lower density attached housing, we will inevitably create a city that is divided, spatially and socially, between those with land, and those without; those with resources and those without; those with access to private open space and those without,” said the Pittwater MP, who pushed for the medium-density policy in his time as planning minister.

“The city I envisage is a just city, with opportunities for all sorts of housing to cater for all sorts of families in all sorts of areas –not a two-tone city split between unit towers and endless sprawl,” he said.

Without a diversity of housing, the Pittwater MP said, parts of the northern beaches were at risk of being “less inclusive, locking out younger families, and in danger of becoming Australia’s version of the retirement estates of Florida”.

Northern Beaches Council is one of those that have been granted a reprieve from the medium-density housing code. The council’s mayor, Michael Regan, has said he supports more townhouse-style housing, but needed another year to determine where it should be.

Some planners and developers reacted with alarm to Mr Roberts’ suspension of the medium-density code.

The NSW president of the Planning Institute of Australia, Jenny Rudolph, said the government should not link community opposition to high-rise apartment growth “with the growing need for more modest medium-density housing – especially terraces and dual occupancies”.

A spokesman for Mr Roberts said the Planning Minister was thrilled Mr Stokes was publicly supporting the policy.

The Mayor of Ryde, Jerome Laxale, was a particularly forceful opponent on the medium-density housing code. Mr Roberts granted Ryde an exemption from the code and also suspended the consideration of new planning proposals in the area.

Cr Laxale said the government should also suspend development zones in North Ryde, Macquarie Park and Epping.

As planning minister, Mr Stokes considered applying the medium density housing code across all areas in Sydney. But the policy adopted under Mr Roberts applies the code only in areas in which medium-density housing is allowed by council rules.

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/failing-on-medium-density-housing-will-lead-to-a-divided-sydney-stokes-20180525-p4zhkn.html

CAAN FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/Community-Action-Alliance-for-NSW-744190798994541/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

WEBSITE:

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress.com/

 

 

WHY HOMELESSNESS IS GETTING WORSE by The Unconventional Economist

A homeless person sleeps on a street covered in blankets and surrounded by milk crates.

CAAN …

IT seems it is not only the high immigration but temporary migration with a Visa.

The Turnbull Government has made a number of Visas available whereby holders upon purchasing Australian real estate can gain a Residency Visa.

There are now some 1.4 million Visa holders in Australia!   They all need jobs and housing.

WITH so much competition for housing the supply cannot meet this demand let alone the 100 per cent sell off of  Australian “new homes” overseas has meant that property prices have surged, and this in turn has led to higher rentals as Public Housing estates are being sold off for private redevelopment.

 

Why homelessness is getting worse

By Leith van Onselen

The ABC has released a report explaining why Australian homelessness is getting worse:

Australia’s homelessness figures are going in the wrong direction, and housing experts warn we’re about to recommit to a failing policy.

Last month’s census data revealed that after a long period of stability, homelessness in Australia has gone up 14 per cent nationally, in the past five years…

Rough sleeping — a term which refers to living outside or in a car — has gone up by 20 per cent since 2011…

Policy experts agree one of the main culprits pushing up homelessness is the housing affordability crisis.

Mr Eslake said people like Ms Israel who need affordable rentals, have too much competition.

“We’ve had pressure on both the demand and the supply sides of Australia’s housing markets,” he said.

“That in turn has increased the competition that low-income households face seeking to get rental accommodation at rents they can afford.”

A parallel shortage of social housing has meant those who have been pushed out of the lower end of the rental market have nowhere to go.

Mr Eslake blamed a lack of investment.

“Apart from a period in 2010 through 2012 … the amount of money that has been provided by successive [federal] governments to the states, for the construction of new affordable social housing, has declined over time,” he said…

Mr Eslake has a theory as to why growth in social housing has dried up — there are simply no votes in it.

“The Coalition thinks that social housing is predominantly located in safe Labor seats, and people who require social housing … are traditionally left-of-centre voters,” he said.

“The Labor Party also regards the votes of people living in social housing as more or less locked in.

“So this is an area that very easily falls into the cracks.”

Righto, so the housing affordability crisis is the primary driver behind the surge in homelessness and overcrowding. And values have soared by far the most in Sydney and Melbourne since prices peaked in 2010 (values in the other major capitals have fallen in real inflation-adjusted terms):

And this surge in property values in Sydney and Melbourne has occurred on the back of mammoth population growth into these two cities:

Which has been caused primarily by Australia’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy:

Obviously, the soaring population numbers have put immense pressure on the rental stock as well.

So why won’t Saul Eslake and company admit that Australia’s population Ponzi is also a key ingredient behind the rise in homelessness, overcrowding and poverty, and therefore lobby to have Australia’s immigration intake reduced back to sensible historical levels of around 70,000 people a year?

Does Saul Eslake genuinely care about the welfare of Australia’s working classes who are being thrown under the bus to feed the ‘Growth lobby’? If so, he needs to address the population elephant that is driving much of the undersupply of affordable housing.

unconventionaleconomist@hotmail.com

 SOURCE:   https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/05/homelessness-getting-worse/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHINA NEWS … AUSTRALIAN ELDERLY POPULATION INCREASES BY 20 PCT STATISTICS

HOW INTERESTING!!
THIS has been published in CHINA NEWS: NEWS.CN
WHY?
LOOKS like they are ready to move in … shove off Australian Retirees, Pensioners … with the Stats provided by the ABS

… do you suppose this ties in with Lucy’s Downsizing Plan?
IS the Real Estate Institute involved in assisting here? Aided by the ABS?

Australian elderly population increases by 20 pct: statistics
Source: Xinhua   2016-08-18 11:28:11

CANBERRA, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — The Australia’s elderly population has increased by almost 20 percent over the last five years, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed on Thursday.

A sign that Australians are living longer than their predecessors, there are now 2.2 million people aged 65 years and above in major Australian cities, up from just 1.8 million aged 65 and above in 2010.

In addition, the ABS also revealed that 1.4 million elderly Australians live in rural areas, compared with 1.2 million in 2010.

ABS Director of Demography, Beidar Cho said the high proportion of elderly Australians living in rural areas was a reflection of the “sea change” retirement philosophy, in which older Australians move to smaller towns to relax in retirement.

“The older populations in these areas reflect a preference among many Australians to retire to coastal and rural parts of the country,” Cho said in a statement on Thursday.

“People aged 65 years and over contributed to more than 60 percent of population growth in areas outside of capital cities between 2010 and 2015.”

According to the ABS, residents of Tea GardensHawks Nest on the New South Wales (NSW) coast were “officially” Australia’s oldest, with a median age of 61.0 years in 2015.

People living in Tuncurry in NSW were the next oldest (59.7 years), followed by those living in Bribie Island, Queensland (59.3), two ideal, coastal destinations for retirees and older Australians.

Meanwhile Hobart was the “oldest” major Australian city with a median age of 39.8 years, followed by Adelaide (38.8 years), Sydney (36.1) and Melbourne (36.0). Darwin is the youngest major city in Australia, with a median age of (33.3 years).

 

Editor: chenwen

SOURCE:  http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-08/18/c_135610783.htm

CAAN FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/Community-Action-Alliance-for-NSW-744190798994541/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

WEBSITE:

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress.com/

Without a Home! Homeless Australians …

Homeless Australians

Some 105,200 Australians are without a home.

This Fact File, based on the latest research in Australia, is one of the first using geographical areas to reveal how the patterns of homelessness have changed over 15 years.

Homelessness is a loss of a sense of security, stability, privacy, safety or the ability to control your living space.

Indigenous Australians and single parents are over-represented in the numbers, with domestic and family violence the main reasons they seek help from homelessness services.

The fastest growing group of homeless people are those living in severely overcrowded accommodation.

Rates of homelessness are highest in northern remote and very remote regions, followed by inner cities and some growth corridors.

Twenty-seven per cent of Australia’s homeless live in New South Wales, 22 per cent in Victoria, 19 per cent in Queensland, 15 per cent in the Northern Territory, 9 per cent in Western Australia, 6 per cent in South Australia, 2 per cent in Tasmania and 1 per cent in the ACT.

 

Click on a hexagon for more information about a region. Zoom in to see more hexagons and for a closer look.

YEAR
2001
2006

2011
TOTAL PERCENTAGE OF HOMELESS PEOPLE

Most affected regions

 

More than 30 per cent of people without a home live in 20 of the nation’s 329 regions, as defined by the ABS. The average homelessness rate in these regions is nearly 12 times the national average.

The ABS categorises homeless people into six groups:

  1. Rough sleepers (6 per cent).
  2. Supported accommodation for the homeless (20 per cent).
  3. Temporary accommodation with other households, including friends and family (17 per cent).
  4. Boarding houses (17 per cent).
  5. Other temporary lodgings (1 per cent).
  6. Severely overcrowded accommodation (39 per cent).

Click on one of the top 20 regions for a closer look:

1.East Arnhem, NT

2.Daly – Tiwi – West Arnhem, NT

3.Katherine, NT

4.Barkly, NT

5.Alice Springs, NT

More about the top 5 regions

6.Kimberley, WA

7.Far North, QLD

8.Darwin City, NT

9.Adelaide City, SA

10.Outback – North, QLD

11.Outback – North and East, SA

12.Innisfail – Cassowary Coast, QLD

13.Brisbane Inner, QLD

14.Marrickville – Sydenham – Petersham, NSW

15.Sydney Inner City, NSW

16.Port Phillip, VIC

17.Fyshwick – Pialligo – Hume, ACT

18.Charters Towers – Ayr – Ingham, QLD

19.Goldfields, WA

20.North Canberra, ACT

 Click on the map for more information about a region. Zoom in for a closer look.

1 dot = 1 person
The dots have been randomly distributed within the regions to show the density of homelessness.
They do not represent the exact location of homeless people.
SOURCE:   http://www.abc.net.au/interactives/homeless/

Indigenous homelessness

 

One in 20 Indigenous Australians are without a home. This rate is 14 times greater than the non-Indigenous population and 10 times the national rate for Indigenous, non-Indigenous and those who gave no status in the census.

Seventy-five per cent of Indigenous homeless people live in severely overcrowded dwellings – more than double the figure for non-Indigenous people.

More than half the Indigenous people without a home are found in the Northern Territory.

Close to 30 per cent of the population of East Arnhem are homeless, compared with less than 2 per cent of the populations of Sydney Inner City and Melbourne City.

Seventy per cent of Indigenous people without a home are found in remote or very remote regions.

The number is likely to be greater than recorded in the census. Some find it difficult to answer census questions about their usual residence because they have multiple places they call home.

Homeless population
Indigenous25%
Population of Australia
Indigenous2.5%
Indigenous
Non-Indigenous
Not stated

Data source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW),

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

Rates of homelessness in the Top End
1.
East Arnhem
28.8%
2.
Daly – Tiwi – West Arnhem
19.9%
3.
Katherine
12.9%
4.
Barkly
12.8%
5.
Alice Springs
6.8%
National Average
0.49%

The top five regions for homelessness have not changed since 2001. They are found in remote and very remote areas of the NT.

The top four regions have the largest Indigenous populations in the country and the biggest gaps between the rich and poor.

1
2
3
4
5
Support services

There is a gap between the supply of services and the needs of the homeless. One third of services would need to be relocated to match the distribution of homeless people with places to sleep.

The Northern Territory has the highest homelessness rate in the country at 15 times the national average. The territory has the smallest supply of services relative to the size of its homeless population.

Indigenous Australians account for more than 25 per cent of the NT’s population, which is the highest proportion of all the states and territories.

More than 20 per cent of people who access services are Indigenous. They are more likely to be female or young than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Domestic violence is the main reason Indigenous people seek assistance from homelessness services, as it is for other Australians.

NT

Services accommodate

only 3.7%of all

homeless people

731homeless

people per 10,000

of the population

ACT
50
61.8%

VIC
43
34.5%

TAS
32
30.3%

SA
38
27.0%

QLD
46
19.1%

NSW
41
17.5%

WA
43
9.7%

Percentage of homeless people accommodated by services
Number of homeless people per 10,000 of the population

Data source: AIHW and ABS

Assumes services operate at full capacity

Single parent families and the impact of domestic and family violence

Single parents are over-represented in the homelessness numbers. Regions with the highest proportions of single parent households have homelessness rates nearly four times the national average.

Nearly half the people seeking assistance from services for domestic and family violence are living in a single parent household.

Single parents are the most common household type accessing homelessness services. They account for more than 30 per cent of people seeking help.

Females aged 15 years and over make up more than 60 per cent of people seeking help for domestic and family violence.

Children aged 14 years and under account for almost 30 per cent.

Reasons for seeking assistance

Domestic and family violence is the main reasonpeople access homelessness services.

One in three people seeking help are escaping violence. Most of them are single mothers with children.

Most males seeking help for domestic and family violence are children in the company of a parent fleeing violence.

More than 50 per cent of people accessing services are at risk of losing their homes. Domestic and family violence, affordability and socio-economic disadvantage place people at risk of homelessness.

Top 20 regions with the highest percentage of single parent families
Homelessness rate1.87%
0%
10%
Population of Australia
Homelessness rate0.49%
0%
10%

Data source: AIHW and ABS

Main reasons for seeking assistance

Domestic
violence
25.3%
Domestic and family violence (25.3%)
Housing crisis (20.5%)
Financial difficulties (12.4%)
Inadequate or inappropriate dwelling conditions (10.2%)
Housing affordability stress (4.9%)
Relationship/family breakdown (4.8%)
Previous accommodation ended (4.6%)
Time out from family/other situation (1.7%)
Transition from custodial arrangements (1.5%)
Mental health issues (1.3%)
Other (12.9%)

Data source: AIHW and ABS

Regions prone to homelessness

 

Regions with a high proportion of people who are young or live in flats, units and apartments have high rates of homelessness, as do regions with large gaps between the rich and poor.

As already mentioned, regions with greater numbers of Indigenous people and single parents have higher rates of homelessness.

Young people

 

More than 40 per cent of homeless people are aged under 25 years. This is most apparent in urban regions.

More than 20 per cent of people seeking help from services are aged between 15 and 24 years. Nearly 40 per cent of young people accessing services alone have been living alone.

Children

 

Children aged under 18 years account for nearly 30 per cent of Australia’s homeless population. Nearly 20 per cent of the country’s homeless are aged under 12 years.

More than 25 per cent of people seeking help from services are aged under 18 years.

More than 15 per cent are aged under 10 years.

Flats, units and apartments

 

There are greater proportions of flats, units and apartments in regions with high rates of homelessness.

Young people aged under 25 years are at greater risk of becoming homeless and more likely to be living in flats, units and apartments than any other age group.

Income inequality

 

Regions with a big gap between rich and poor have large populations of low income households where weekly incomes for the poorest 20 per cent are below $526.

This increases the competition for low cost housing. As a result, some people on lower incomes miss out on affordable housing and become homeless.

Age distribution in Australia
0-1212-1819-2425-3435-4445-5455–6465–7475+0 %5 %10 %15 %20 %AGE% OF
POPULATION
Homeless population
Australians

Data source: AIHW and ABS

Top 20 regions with highest percentage of homelessness
Flats, units, apartments25.6%
5.64%
Homelessness rate
National average
Flats, units, apartments12.6%
0.49%
Homelessness rate
Flats, units, apartments
Separate house
Semi-detached house
Other
Not Stated

 

Data source: AIHW and ABS

The impact of employment and cheap housing

The data suggests regions with high homelessness rates have higher unemployment rates and therefore more people at risk. A smaller proportion of these vulnerable people actually become homeless, as rents are cheap and there is a larger supply of affordable accommodation.

On the other hand, regions with low homelessness rates have low unemployment and therefore fewer vulnerable people. A larger proportion of those at risk are forced into homelessness, as rents are expensive and there is a smaller supply of affordable accommodation.

Find out more about homelessness services in your state
Australia wide
1800Respect
1800 737 732
Link
Ask Izzy
Link
Homelessness Australia
Link
Infoxchange
Link
Lifeline
13 11 14
Link
WA
NT
SA
NSW
QLD
VIC
TAS
ACT
Download full report

 

The Fact File is based partly on a research project conducted by Professor Gavin Wood, Deb Batterham, Dr. Melek Cigdem and Professor Shelley Mallett. Their research was a collaboration between Launch Housing (formerly Hanover Welfare Services) and The Centre for Urban Research at RMIT and was funded by The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.

For further information contact Jasmine Feigehen on Jasmine.Fiegehen@launchhousing.org.au.

 

SOURCE:   http://www.abc.net.au/interactives/homeless/

CAAN FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/Community-Action-Alliance-for-NSW-744190798994541/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

WEBSITE:

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress.com/

 

 

NSW Labor leader Foley shoots wrong immigration target

 

NSW Labor leader Foley shoots wrong immigration target

 

By Leith van Onselen

After previously raising concern at the rapid immigration (population growth) into Sydney, NSW Labor leader Luke Foley has taken a bizarre turn, now lamenting the “white flight” from suburbs like Fairfield caused by a supposed influx of refugees. From The Daily Telegraph:

LABOR leader Luke Foley has put the issue of “white flight” in Western Sydney on the political agenda, warning “many Anglo families” are being forced to move out of struggling suburbs facing “slow decline”.

Mr Foley pointed to suburbs such as Fairfield, where governments had pushed huge intakes of refugees into regions without matching jobs and education resources…

“I’m particularly concerned about suburbs around Fairfield because they’re carrying just a huge burden when it comes to the refugee intake from Syria and Iraq,” he said.

“Something like three-quarters of the Syrian and Iraqi refugees are settling around Fairfield. It’s all right to come up with a grand gesture of we’ll take 10,000 Syrian or Iraqi refugees but where’s the practical assistance?”…

The Opposition Leader said there was a “middle ring” of suburbs in the west that needed more practical support in terms of jobs and education to match their booming migrant population. He pointed to Fairfield, Sefton, Yennora and Guildford.

“I’m saying, what about that middle ring of suburbs that have experienced, if anything, just a slow decline. In terms of employment, in terms of white flight — where many Anglo families have moved out?” Mr Foley said.

While the exodus of locals out of Sydney is a genuine concern (see next chart), pointing the gun at refugees is ridiculous.

As shown in the next chart, refugees are a tiny fraction of Australia’s overall migrant intake and, therefore, are also a tiny driver of the 85,000 net overseas migrants that flooded Sydney last year.

Rather than shooting down refugees, Foley should save his bullets for Australia’s non-humanitarian migrant intake, which will be the primary driver of Sydney’s projected 1.74 million increase in population over the next 20 years:

Focus on the numbers, Luke. That’s where the problem lies.

unconventionaleconomist@hotmail.com

 

SOURCE:   https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/05/labor-leader-foley-shoots-wrong-immigration-target/

CAAN FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/Community-Action-Alliance-for-NSW-744190798994541/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

WEBSITE:

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress.com/

 

 

ALP colleagues mostly turn on Foley while residents say they know what he means

VIEW CAAN Website article in reply!

“NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley fluffed his lines … Shooting the Wrong Immigration Target”

ALP colleagues mostly turn on Foley while residents say they know what he means

ANNA CALDWELL 

LUKE Foley has been forced into a humiliating backdown after Labor colleagues at both state and federal levels were incensed he had injected race into the debate over immigration by using the phrase “white flight”.

 

Mr Foley was directly approached by state Labor MPs, including frontbencher Jodi McKay, who believed he was wrong to use the term when discussing the lack of resources like education and jobs in suburbs struggling under the strain of refugee intakes.

Insiders said NSW Labor secretary Kaila Murnain was instrumental in forcing Mr Foley to apologise, to keep peace in the party.

Life goes on in Fairfield centre yesterday as the furore over Luke Foley’s choice of words concerning migrant influx to the area continued. Picture: Justin Lloyd

RELATED NEWS:

Labor leader Luke Foley retracts ‘white flight’ comment

Luke Foley: What does “white flight” mean?

Luke Foley’s concern for ‘middle ring’ suburbs

It is understood he was distressed that he had caused ­offence in Western Sydney communities, and was apologetic. MPs who approached Mr Foley accepted his apology and the resourcing issues he had wanted to raise but not his choice of words.

In a rare show of support, federal shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, whose electorate is at the heart of the issues Mr Foley raised, said the state leader was right to address resourcing issues in the region.

It is understood it was the intervention by Pauline Hanson on morning TV that drove senior Labor figures on the Right to high levels of anger.

Luke Foley upset politicians across the board and later apologised. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

A senior Labor source said the Hanson intervention was damaging: “When you are endorsed by Pauline Hanson andMark Latham in the same morning, you may as well start the clock ticking on your leadership,” he said.

“The question is, does Luke even want to win?”

Mr Latham last night slammed Mr Foley’s backflip as “weak and disappointing”, saying he’d been howled down by Labor MPs “who wouldn’t find Fairfield without a special radar system in their car”.

NSW Labor general secretary Kaila Murnain recommended Mr Foley apologise. Picture: Adam Taylor

Mr Foley’s former staffer Sabina­ Husic, sister of federal Labor MP Ed Husic, made her damning assessment of the leader public on twitter, writing: “okay if stopping white flight is the #1 issue for NSW Labor in 2019 I’m extremely ready to move back to Tito’s Yugoslavia circa 1965.”

Mr Foley was roundly ­attacked by the NSW government yesterday, who painted him as a racist. “The comments were deeply divisive, dangerous and nasty,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian told parliament.

But a string of Western Sydney Labor MPs praised Mr Foley for putting on the agenda the issue of state resourcing in communities welcoming thousands of new refugees.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph published yesterday, Mr Foley pointed to a “middle ring” of Sydney suburbs he said were facing a “slow decline” after thousands of refugees had been settled in them. “I’m saying, what about that middle ring of suburbs that have experienced, if anything, just a slow decline. In terms of employment, in terms of white flight — where many Anglo families have moved out.”

Bankstown MP Tania Mihailuk said Mr Foley was not a bigot.

Labor frontbencher and Member for Bankstown Tania Mihailuk told The Daily Telegraph her party’s state leader was no bigot. “Luke Foley has been brave enough to call this for what it is. Our suburbs are a welcome refugee zone but we need support to match those realities,” she said.

ALP MPs Guy Zangari and Greg Warren also backed Mr Foley for putting the struggling suburbs front and centre.

After enduring a harrowing Question Time and abuse on social media, Mr Foley said: “In the course of a 30-minute interview … I used the phrase white flight. That phrase is offensive to many. I apologise and I will not use that phrase again.”

RESIDENTS SAY AREA HAS ITS HANDS FULL

By Danielle Le Messurier

LUKE Foley copped it from all quarters yesterday but found plenty ofsupport for his claims Fairfield was full — from the people who live there.

And they agreed overcrowding and a lack of infrastructure was driving long-time residents out of the area.

Dominoes buddies Amanuel, Zaia, Charlie Ukhanna, Haraid, Yowel and George play in Fairfield on Thursday. Picture: Justin Lloyd

Assyrian Charlie Ukhanna, 75, has been a Fairfield resident for 38 years and agrees there has been a “white flight” — the term Mr Foley was forced to disown yesterday.

Mr Ukhanna said all the Anglo Australians have “run away to their farms”.

“I think there has been (a white flight) 100 per cent … look around — where are the Aussies?” he said.

“You used to go in the pub and there were all Aussies and now the pub is empty, nobody in there.

“I don’t think they’re coming back. To be honest, there’s no room left.”

Kim Luu, 60, who owns Fairfield Bargain Fabric with husband Chin, 62, said some Anglos had moved from Fairfield due to economic reasons.

Teenagers Michelle Stralow and Kathryn Kokkinos said they see “fewer than 20 Aussies a day” in the Fairfield area. Picture: Justin Lloyd
Kim and Chin Luu at their Fairfield fabric shop. Picture: Justin Lloyd

“Maybe they have money and leave to go to a better suburb. Maybe they go somewhere cheaper or buy a new house or something,” she said.

Michelle Stralow, 19, and Kathryn Kokkinos, 17, both work in Fairfield and said they “probably see less than 20 Aussies every day”. Ms Kokkinos added: “It’s surprising, because in Smithfield there’s a lot and it’s the next suburb over.”

In Fairfield, Vietnamese account for 16.8 per cent of the population, Chinese 11.4 per cent, Anglo Australians 7.8 per cent and Assyrians 5.7 per cent, 2016 Census data showed.

Margo Connell has lived in the area for 60 years and has noticed the slow ebb of white Australians like her leaving the community.

Linda McCall and Margo Connell have lived in the Fairfield area most of their lives. Picture: Justin Lloyd
Stewart Carson agreed with Mr Foley’s observations. Picture: Justin Lloyd

“A few of the older residents, we do feel like we’re strangers in this area because of how much it’s changed in such a short time,” she said. “It’s not the same … it’s a completely different atmosphere to what it used to be when there were more Australians.

“I love Fairfield but it’s just becoming a little too overcrowded.”

Stewart Carson, 51, agreed with Mr Foley’s “white flight” comment.

“What he said he can’t say by himself because people are complaining. But it’s true, I never see Australian people here anymore,” he said.

Linda McCall, who has lived in the area since 1985, admitted a massive migrant influx had changed the area but said “it doesn’t really faze me”.

Residents meet in Fairfield city centre on Thursday. Picture: Justin Lloyd

“I get to come to community centres and mix with a diverse range of people here,” she said. “Things change — that’s just the way it is.”

Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone said people were being driven out because of the lack of infrastructure.

“If you ask me, ‘do I believe there’s a white flight?’ No I don’t think there is,” he said. “I think if people leave Fairfield they leave because the pressures of having 7000 extra people come into the city.”

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, the local federal MP, said Mr Foley was shining a light on the lack of services in the suburb.

PAINFUL PHRASE BORN OF RACIAL TURMOIL

THE term “white flight” is a phrase that has been used to stir racial unrest throughout the US for the past 60 years.

It was first used during the 1950s and 1960s when African-Americans began moving into what had previously been solely white communities, leading many white families to leave.

And during the 1970s some white communities even had unwritten agreements that none of them would sell their homes to black people as they feared their houses would plummet in value.

The phrase, which Mr Foley said he had no idea had been used to stir racial unrest, is obviously a painful one for immigrant and minority communities as it’s associated with racial segregation.

University of New South Wales academic Katherine Tsatsaklas ­released a paper this year debating whether in Sydney “race is a key driver of parental choice, leading to ‘white flight’ away from schools”.

The paper compared policy ­decisions in Sydney to those in Detroit and argued that “integration is critical”.

HANSON GIVES FOLEY UNWANTED SUPPORT

PAULINE Hanson yesterday commended embattled NSW Labor leader Luke Foley for his contentious words.

“Twenty years ago, I said there would be places we won’t even recognise in Australia,” she told the Today show yesterday.

Mr Foley rejected the backing of One Nation senator Pauline Hanson.

“They are forming ghettos. People are forced out of the homes they grew up in. Kids don’t want to live in these suburbs anymore ­because they are not assimilating.

“We don’t put restrictions on them that they must speak English, they must assimilate into our society and respect our laws and our cultures … this is why we have problems.”

But Mr Foley flatly rejected her endorsement­, saying: “I won’t have a bar of her divisive race-based politics.”

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge addressed the issue of immigrants living in regional areas.

He also highlighted that he was the only NSW political leader who had ruled out any preference deal with Hanson’s One Nation party.

The furore comes as the federal government considers developing new visa rules that will see ­migrants living in rural areas.

“There are many regions in Australia that are now facing skilled labour shortages and we are working with regional leaders and businesses to find solutions,” Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge said last week.

“Many migrants are sponsored for permanent residence on the basis of an intent to live and work in regional Australia but don’t stay long in the region once they have their permanent visa.”

THE FINAL WORD

It’s an identifiable phenomenon in many Western cities that reflect the changing cultural mix of many suburbs. This is a class issue more than a race issue. Luke Foley yesterday morning

I’ve been saying this and I said it 20 years ago … Good on Luke Foley because it needs to be debated. One Nation leader Pauline Hanson

He crossed the line, the language used was desperate and inflammatory, and it goes to the heart of the type of person he is. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

It’s an American term. It’s not relevant to Western Sydney. The Refugee Council’s Shakufa Tahiri

White Flight is just a fancy term for racebaiting. Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi

Today the Leader of the Opposition has sunk to the lowest of all lows in a desperate attempt to grab a headline. NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro

I meant no offence, but some people have told me today that they find the term pretty unpalatable, so I certainly won’t use it again, and I apologise. Mr Foley yesterday afternoon

SOURCE:  Also titled:  ALP Furious at Foley’s “white gaffe” but West Agree (paywall)
CAAN FACEBOOK:

NSW LABOR LEADER LUKE FOLEY FLUFFED HIS LINES … SHOOTING THE WRONG IMMIGRATION TARGET

 

 

Suburban housing estates are being demolished for higher density … forcing many Australians to leave …
SINCE 2004 when Prime Minister John Howard opened the floodgates of high immigration (which rose to some 300,000 p.a.) while scapegoating the Refugees … house prices rose …
Followed by the NSW LNP Government since 2011/12 under the leadership of Premiers O’Farrell, Baird and Berejiklian house prices have further escalated with the high permanent immigration and temporary immigration (Visa holders) all needing housing and jobs.
The housing supply has not been able to meet the foreign demand created by the * FIRB ruling allowing developers to sell (up to) 100 per cent of “new homes” to foreign buyers particularly in China.
View:  https://theaimn.com/will-foreigners-buy-next-answer-australia/
DUE to this overseas competition for housing our Families have been outbid at auctions over this period, and locked out!
A wave of demographic change is occurring across Sydney … due to developers targeting the high wealth market of China
(* FIRB ruling amendment announced by Treasurer Scott Morrison – the reduction to 50% overseas sell-off May 2017 Budget Reg. only applies to developments of 50 dwellings plus)

The disturbing truth you need to know about women’s homelessness

 

Christine’s report extensively examines and provides an  information-rich overview of the problem.

But what lies behind it all is how the Housing Affordability Crisis was in fact contrived … by a relative few whose appetite is never satisfied … and can only be described as “UnAustralian” …

CAAN daily shares with you reports on this and related issues.  Articles covering the following can be found in CAAN’s Website:

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress.com/

The categories include:

-housing affordability
-foreign property buyers
-developers (2 categories)
-compulsory acquisition and land amalgamation
-IHAPS
-high immigration
-Visas
-Proxy, Syndicate, Investor Alliance, family and friends
-black money, money laundering
-strata law changes
-new housing code
-Sydney Metro Bill
-privatisation of rail for Metro
-value capture
-water (2 categories)
-Facts Sheet

 

THE DISTURBING TRUTH YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WOMEN’S HOMELESSNESS

Christine is a recently retired and now homeless mature age woman who has, like so many other retired professional women, little to no prospect of obtaining public or community housing, or being able to afford market price rentals.

As the convenor of the Housing Alternatives self-help action group on Facebook and the creator of the Housing Alternatives web site, she’s shared with Women’s Agenda this comprehensive analysis on what we need to know about women’s homelessness in Australia.

We need more women with high level skills, and the time and capacity to dedicate to the issue of affordable housing for single women of all ages. The below provides an excellent, information-rich overview of the problem.

You can connect with Christine via the Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/HousingAlternativesAustralia/

of the Housing Alternatives

website. https://housing-alternatives.com/

You can also read more about Christine’s story here.

https://housing-alternatives.com/who-is-christine-a-story-of-the-new-home-less-women-and-a-call-to-action/

There are more homeless women than homeless men in Australia, yet we know very little about them.

The public image of the homeless is still one of drunk older men sleeping on park benches, but research shows that a mere 6% of the homeless are living on the streets.

The rest are living, hidden from public view, in insecure, impermanent, unsuitable, overcrowded and often unsafe places. They have a temporary roof over their heads but not a home.

Increasing numbers of women are living this way, so who are these women and how can they be helped?

WHAT DO HOMELESS WOMEN LOOK LIKE?

Homeless women are mostly single women who look like everyone else

45% of single women over 45 are earning the minimum wage or less and all of these are either already homeless or at risk of homelessness, as the minimum wage is no longer able to pay the lowest rentals. 330,000 women fall into this category.

https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/single-women-face-a-frightening-future-of-homelessness-in-australia-20170808-gxrw3s.html

You will see child care workers, primary school teachers, secondary school teachers and even TAFE and university teachers amongst the ranks of homeless women. You will see nurses and allied health professionals. You will see all manner of office and clerical support staff, retail workers, restaurant workers. You will even see highly skilled IT and other corporate workers. You will see many women who have been sick or disabled, and you will see many women who have been used and abused by the man in their lives.

Very few are mentally ill before they become homeless, and very few are sleeping on park benches. Very few are criminals. Very few are professional beggars. They are mostly perfectly ordinary white collar workers or pensioners.

WHY ARE SINGLE WOMEN TOO POOR TO AFFORD HOUSING?

Women are routinely underpaid

Women’s work is routinely underpaid compared to men’s work. The lowest paid roles in our economy are the care-giving roles, which are either unpaid or underpaid. And women still do the bulk of the care-giving work. They may have been employed all their lives, or they may have stayed out of the workforce to care for others, but, at the end of the day, they are not paid well enough or consistently enough to accumulate savings, save house deposits, pay off mortgages, or build up good superannuation balances.

https://www.actu.org.au/actu-media/media-releases/2016/women-are-still-losing-out-on-pay-at-every-stage-of-life-new-report-reveals

Women’s work is increasingly casualised

Low paid jobs, particularly women’s roles, are becoming increasingly casualised.

https://theconversation.com/the-costs-of-a-casual-job-are-now-outweighing-any-pay-benefits-82207

Workers in casual jobs have no security of employment, and no secure number of hours in a week. They may accumulate some superannuation, but not enough.

Most importantly, they cannot take out loans as they do hot have a secure income and cannot guarantee repayment of a mortgage. They may even struggle to consistently pay rent as income fluctuates.

So casualised workers cannot invest in houses, no matter what their hourly rate, and may default on rent.

Women are increasingly victim to age and gender discrimination in the workforce

Workplace discrimination against women is still rife, and that multiplies as the woman ages.

https://theconversation.com/women-paid-less-for-same-contribution-to-work-and-sexism-is-to-blame-study-83052

If she is not safe and secure in a permanent role by the time she is 40, she is very unlikely to gain a safe and secure permanent role after that age. The combination of gender discrimination and age discrimination will make it increasingly likely that she has to take low paid casualised work as she ages.

This also applies to women who have been highly paid in the corporate contract economy. The hourly rate may be high, but the annual income diminishes yearly as she ages.

Women walk away from relationships leaving assets behind

When women leave a relationship, they all too often walk away without their fair share of their accumulated wealth. They often find themselves with half the house and no share of their partner’s superannuation.

Even if they get the value of half the house, if they are not able to obtain secure high paid work, they are unable to get a loan to either pay their partner out or purchase another house. They are not earning enough to pay a mortgage. If they want to dispute their settlement, they are often not earning enough to pay the legal fees.

Abused women walk away from relationships with nothing

This situation is made much worse if the partner is violent or if there are children to protect.

https://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/culture/article/2017/06/29/tragic-reality-domestic-violence-main-cause-homelessness-australia

Women who escape physical abuse will often be further endangered if they pursue their partner for their fair share of the assets. They frequently leave the relationship with nothing and are just relieved that he is not pursuing them. They are often traumatised and unable to deal with the additional stress of legal disputes.

AND WHY IS THE SOCIAL SAFETY NET NOT CATCHING THEM?

The safety net has ceased to offer safety

We live in a culture which prides itself on having a safety net to catch those who are unfortunate enough to find themselves in serious trouble.

We still implicitly believe, as a culture, that we are benevolent, and that every worthy person will be helped when they really need help. This is no longer the case. The safety net is no longer functioning as it was designed, and particularly for the “worthy”, who have no idea how to exploit the system.

The various welfare options designed to catch everyone who falls are now shot through with serious holes, the most serious of which is that welfare payments can no longer pay for the most basic housing.

Single women are most at risk. Many women who have managed their affairs perfectly well, can no longer pay rent. They went through a time of moving from houses to flats, from flats to studios, from studios to converted garages and sheds, and from sheds to various forms of temporary accommodation, and finally to rooms in boarding houses or other overcrowded dwellings, where they are subject to ongoing daily bullying. And far too many of these women are old women.

Massive inflation of house prices has caught everyone out

The massive inflation of house purchase prices, flows through to rentals. Rentals are set at around $100 for every $100,000 of worth on a property.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-29/national-rental-market-failing-many-australians/9205148

Once it was possible for those on minimum wage, on unemployment benefits or the age or disability pension to pay that price. Now it is not. Pensions have remained pretty much stable, while house sale prices and the associated rents have sky-rocketed.

IF THESE WOMEN ARE NOT BEING HOUSED, WHERE ARE THEY HIDING OUT?

Homeless women have devised a range of options to keep a roof over their heads…

However, most of these options require them to be fit, healthy and emotionally strong.

They couch surf with friends and family, often thinking that they are not really homeless and will find somewhere soon. When they do not find somewhere soon they find themselves running out of friends who will accommodate them.

They may house-sit, moving from house to house every few weeks.

If they have some money, they often buy some kind of mobile home, a truck or van they can sleep in, and hit the road, going around the free campsites, meeting up with other women for safety.

They may take rooms in boarding houses, or take a room in a share house with strangers, where they can be bullied at will.

If they are very lucky they might find an old caravan in a run down caravan park they can afford.

Some go overseas and live in third world countries.

Some volunteer for Australian Volunteers Abroad, where the stipend is better than an Australian pension.

Some of the younger and fitter, volunteer to work on organic farms through schemes like Wwoofers & HelpX, in return for food and accommodation.

Some even sign on for courses so that they can gain student accommodation.
…but these solutions are all short-term or insecure

All these options are temporary and some are unsafe or abusive. Women following these options have no form of tenancy rights or protection, and often find themselves having to be obedient to unreasonable house rules. This lifestyle is not sustainable over the long term and can only be considered while longer term solutions become available.

However, longer terms solutions are not becoming available.

SURELY THE HOUSING PROVIDERS ARE HELPING HOMELESS WOMEN?

Homeless women are not getting the help they need from public and social housing providers

The public housing waiting lists are so long now that anyone applying for public or community housing must be a priority case to make their way up the list. To make themselves a priority case they must be able to show that they are incompetent for mental or physical health reasons. It is no longer enough to be at risk. It is no longer enough to be old.

And even when a person gets themselves placed on the priority housing list, they may still languish for several years before suitable accommodation becomes available.

Without a mental or physical illness, or currently being in severe danger, they will not make it onto the priority list and never progress up the waiting list. This is particularly important for single people as the bulk of the national estate of housing is family houses, and there is little accommodation available that is identified as suitable for singles (studio or one bedroom).

After a few years of living in fear, physical and/or mental health inevitably do collapse and the woman MAY then get help, but no guarantees. For these women, mental health issues result from homelessness; they do not cause it.

There are few projects around the country targeted at housing women, who are merely vulnerable, in safe, secure, long term housing.

SO WHAT HELP DO UNDER-FINANCED WOMEN NEED?

Women need housing solutions that provide safety and privacy

Housing solutions, such as they are, do not take into account women’s needs. When housed, women’s highest need is the combination of privacy and safety. Place a woman in a block of flats with substance abusers and she has no safety, place her in a converted motel room or caravan park and she has no privacy. Without privacy, she can be watched and if she can be watched she can be stalked, and harassed, so even if she can lock her door, she still feels unsafe when she walks outside.

The greatest danger to homeless women is homeless men. This is a strong statement, but unfortunately true.

When women are empowered to find and manage their own accommodation, they instinctively find themselves somewhere to live that offers both privacy and safety, and away from substance abusing men. Housing providers are not so sensitive to women’s need for safety, and randomly place both substance abusing men and “clean” women, from the waiting lists, into housing that is neither private nor safe.

Women are disproportionately at risk of sexual harassment and physical or sexual abuse. Homeless women are far more vulnerable than homeless men, and must be catered for as a priority.

New affordable housing must be designed with women’s needs in mind

Women need tailor-made affordable housing, with safety and privacy designed in, and in addition, stability and community. This is a design issue, not a cost issue. Housing suitable for women (which also suits men) does not need to cost any more, but safety, privacy, stability and community do have to be designed in from the start.

SURELY HOUSING SOLUTIONS ARE ALREADY BEING IMPLEMENTED?

Unfortunately we do not seem to know what problem we are solving

There is much discussion about affordable housing, but the discussion is largely muddled and ill-informed. There is no agreement on what problem we are solving, let alone what is required to solve it, so little action of any meaningful kind is being taken.

There are at least four aspects to this problem:

We have to identify and fix the root economic cause or causes of homelessness, which means re-aligning house prices with incomes.

We have to take a fresh look at gender inequality in employment and how it is leading to increasing levels of female homelessness.

We have to pay attention to tenancy law and protect good tenants from bad landlords
We have to create interim programs to house the existing homeless in suitable accommodation.

We have to identify and address the root economic cause of the mis-alignment of incomes and house prices…

We need a long-term national strategy to re-align house prices with wages. There are many suggestions for how this can be achieved, that I am not equipped to discuss here. Suffice it to say that we need a national strategy

https://www.compasshousing.org/towards-national-housing-strategy

that addresses the reason that house prices have left the low paid behind. Any measures that do not cause house prices and wages to re-align are pointless in the long term.

Our governments have allowed house prices to outstrip incomes, and our governments have to fix it. However, this is a long term problem that will take time to turn around, and in the meantime, people have to be housed.

We have to take a fresh look at gender inequality in employment…

We also need to take a fresh look at all the sexism and gender discrimination issues in Australia

https://www.wgea.gov.au/addressing-pay-equity/what-gender-pay-gap

that have led to Australian women being significantly financially disadvantaged compared to men, and so more vulnerable to homelessness in mature age. The expected improvement in women’s financial security has not eventuated and we need to know why.

We have to pay attention to tenancy law and protect good tenants from bad landlords…

Anyone who has rented knows that rental provisions designed to protect good landlords from bad tenants permit massive abuse of good tenants.

http://rightnow.org.au/essay/sydney-housing-affordability-crisis/

The entire tenancy system must be reviewed. There are some good models overseas, with tenants able to expect long term tenure, and the right to decorate and keep pets. The need for a sweeping review of the rental system is urgent, so that good tenants, particularly older people, who find moving house increasingly difficult and costly, do not become victim to bad landlords and negligent real estate agents.

…and in the meantime we have to house those who are currently homeless

The current conversation about housing solutions tends to focus on programs for one demographic at a time. However, there are many different demographics whose needs are quite different. One size does not fit all.

Old men on park benches

Most of the conversation is about old men on park benches, who need supported accommodation options while they recover their physical or mental health, and care until they identify themselves as ready to live unsupported.

Young couples “on the up”

Some of the conversation is about young couples getting their first mortgage who are not currently homeless. These young couples are “on the up,” and can expect to increase their earnings over time. They need support getting into the currently inflated home ownership market. For this group, “affordable housing” is new housing entering the market at below market value, and there are government programs to require developers to sell a percentage of new developments at 75% of market value.

Once this kind of “affordable housing” has sold, it can be re-sold at market value. So it is effectively a one-off bonus for a young couple who are well enough off to be able to afford current rentals and to save a house deposit. They were never homeless. This kind of subsidy to create “affordable housing” will not reduce current levels of homelessness.

Those on pensions and benefits whose finances cannot be expected to improve

Very little of the conversation is about solutions for those on low incomes and who simply need secure rental at prices they can afford. This group comprises older people or sick people, and mothers with school age children, who cannot expect to increase their earnings over time. This group needs support to find permanent, secure rental housing, or entry pathways into ownership that can be maintained on a low income.

This kind of “affordable housing” is the traditional public or community housing, with rentals set at 35% of income. This option provides permanent housing for those on fixed low incomes, at a fixed percentage of that income. Or at least it used to. The national estate of this kind of housing has been reducing over many years, while the population has been growing, so it is not keeping pace with the existing need of it’s traditional demographic.

We need to build more suitable public housing, with security of tenure, to bring the ratio of public housing to private housing back to it’s earlier and more optimum levels, sufficient to house those who are dependent on welfare payments. This alone might require as much as 50,000 new residences, and would be a massive building commitment in it’s own right, but for which there is currently no political will.

If the proportion of households in social housing (4.8% in 2006) had been maintained through to 2016 (when 4.3% of all households lived in social housing) then an extra 49,302 households would have been living in social housing.

[Percentage of Australian households in social housing, 2006 to 2016]

The new homeless

None of the conversation is about the new homeless, those who have traditionally housed themselves until they were priced out of the housing market simply and only because their income has not kept pace with house price inflation. This is by far the largest contingent of the currently homeless and it is being completely left out of the conversation.

Public and community housing cannot and should not be expected to cater for the new homeless demographic. For this group we need new rental arrangements that create both accessible rents and security of tenure for rental tenants.

It is critically important that those who have been independent all their lives are able to remain independent, and the public housing systems does not allow that. The process is humiliating, and almost all right of choice is removed. It is bad policy to force otherwise self-managing adults into a dependent relationship with the state when they would rather remain independent.

Our governments have allowed this problem to develop to it’s current crisis level, and our governments must accept that they have the responsibility to fix our broken economic system; a system that is creating increasing levels of welfare dependency in a demographic that has, until the last few years, managed their own affairs.

WE NEED A CRISIS RESPONSE!

This IS a national emergency that requires a nationally coordinated crisis response

We are currently in a crisis that has been brought about by economic mismanagement. Uncontrolled speculative house price inflation is endemic globally, and is the responsibility of national governments, not the individuals who have been caught in an unbalanced economy. Faulty economic management has thrown perfectly able and responsible citizens out of house and home.

Those people who have been rendered homeless for economic rather than personal reasons need safe housing, while the government sorts out the economic mismatch between house prices and incomes. Provision must be made to house the 200,000 households currently on the public housing waiting lists, and for those being added to the lists daily.

There is enough existing housing for everyone: it’s just not affordable

In a nation that has 300,000 speculative vacancies (empty homes not used in a 12 month period, identified by zero water use),

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-17/vacancy-tax-wont-solve-australias-empty-housing-problem/8709184

89,863 houses rented through airbnb alone,

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-23/entire-homes-commercial-listings-have-surged-on-airbnb/9473368

and massive numbers of caravan and cabin parks for tourists, this should not be hard to do. All that is lacking is the will to do it.

Do we care that this country has turned single women and mothers into refugees in their own land?

Do we care that women and children fleeing violence are forced to return to their tormentors because they cannot find long-term affordable housing? Do we care that old women who have contributed a lifetime of care-giving to this country are sleeping, terrified, alone and in pain, in their cars?

Let’s make this the major election issue in every state and federal election from now on.

The only way we will get action is if one of the two main parties is guaranteed to LOSE the next election if they cannot present a fully costed and budgeted program to provide housing safety for ALL at risk women and children within 12 months of being elected — and all men within two years. We have the numbers. We just have to get the message out there and get ourselves mobilised.

Photo above by Heidi Sandstrom. on Unsplash

CHRISTINE KENT

Christine is a recently retired and now homeless mature age woman who has, like so many other retired professional women, little to no prospect of obtaining public or community housing, or being able to afford market price rentals.

She is the convenor of the Housing Alternatives self-help action group on Facebook and the creator of the Housing Alternatives web site.

SOURCE:  https://womensagenda.com.au/life/this-is-the-disturbing-truth-you-need-to-know-about-womens-homelessness/

CAAN FACEBOOK:

 

NEW HOUSING PLAN TO PUT MEDIUM DENSITY DEVELOPMENTS ON RESIDENTIAL LOTS ALMOST ANYWHERE IN NSW

 

Townhouses on the Pacific Highway in Hornsby.

January 14, 2017 ·

In response Hornsby Mayor Steve Russell – known for his pro development approach – said it would “affect the suburban nature of every street in the shire”.

AT CAAN we have had difficulty finding the minimum lot sizes for the different medium density developments in the Planning NSW documents. We had a recollection but in view of our inability to find the specific lot sizes for these developments it raises concerns about the proposed infiltration of medium density; it blunts any debate about it!

Hearsay works in their favour; puts off opposition.

COULD this be why so little is being said about it? The facts aren’t clear …

LUCKILY we came across this article from the Hornsby Advocate, and it reveals:

Minimum size lots proposed for complying development to townhouses, villas, etc:

-2 dwellings on a 400m2 lot
-3-4 dwellings on a 500m2 lot
-3-10 dwellings on a 600m2 lot

THOSE in the know are obviously salivating with the one most attractive to them being the 600 m2 site; there’s plenty around; they will go for the 10 to max out their profit.

THEN we came across the submission from STEP to Planning NSW and this reveals:

“The proposals would also lead to an effective blanket rezoning to medium density, with minor exceptions, of virtually all single dwelling, low density residential R2 land with a street frontage of 12.5 m or more and a minimum lot size of 400 m2.

The suite of medium density complying development types cover dual occupancies, manor houses (2 up, 2 down) and townhouses/ terraces depending on land size. For example 3 to 10 dwellings could be built in a terrace or townhouse type configuration on land with a minimum size of 600 m2.”

That it:

-will remove residents rights to object
-residents in R2 (low density) zones will suddenly find medium density development happening next door that they thought was not permissible under the existing zoning laws
-breaking down communities; with the loss of leafy treescapes; increased water runoff; loss of amenity; more congestion

BUT it appears that Planning NSW and the NSW Government want one size fits all!

Read more from STEP:
http://www.step.org.au/index.php/item/87-expansion-of-medium-density-housing

 

New housing plan to put medium-density developments on residential lots almost anywhere in NSW

A “ONE size fits all” approach to new housing may see up to 10 dwellings built on a single lot almost anywhere in NSW.

The changes, outlined in a NSW Government discussion paper to “fast-track delivery of housing options”, were described as “an absolute disaster” by Hornsby councillors last week.

The paper proposes medium-density housing be approved under the complying development process.

Complying development is a planning and construction approval issued by councils or private certifiers when a set of controls and requirements are met.

Hornsby Mayor Steve Russell said it would “affect the suburban nature of every street in the shire”.

“I don’t see any merit in this at all,” Cr Russell said.

Cr Nick Berman was pushing for townhouse development in the Hornsby Shire in 2013, but he does not agree with the new planning paper.

Councillor Antony Anisse said units are an “inappropriate product” for many people and medium density housing should be encouraged to fill the gap in Sydney’s housing shortage.

There are not enough incentives for this type of development at the moment, he said. However this proposal is “unacceptable currently”.

Pennant Hills Civic Trust president Andrew Wilson said the trust was concerned it would lead to “further ad-hoc, higgledy-piggledy, messily unplanned, unstructured, unstrategic development”. “We like people having a democratic right to object to a DA,” he said.

Hornsby councillor Robert Browne said it effectively rezoned NSW to a “one size fits all” regime with “the potential to change the whole character of our suburbs”.

Lots as small as 200m are being proposed, meaning many trees that characterise residential areas will “eventually disappear”, Cr Browne said.

The intent is to implement the plan and this was just the first round, he said.

The paper is open for comment until March 1 at: planspolicies.planning.nsw.gov.au.

A townhouse in Cecil Rd, Hornsby.

FAST-TRACKING DEVELOPMENT

■ 29 per cent of NSW 2013-14 development approvals were complying developments

■ Average 18 days to approve, compared to 70 days for a DA

Minimum size lots proposed for complying development to townhouses, villas, etc:

2 dwellings on a 400m2 lot

3-4 dwellings on a 500m2 lot

3-10 dwellings on a 600m2 lot

 

SOURCE:  https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/the-hills/new-housing-plan-to-put-mediumdensity-developments-on-residential-lots-almost-anywhere-in-nsw/news-story/a5568610188d6cd584b2ee5c5c78c79f

 

CAAN FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/Community-Action-Alliance-for-NSW-744190798994541/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

WEBSITE:

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress.com/