This project examined state government-led innovations in affordable housing through analysis of two state-level strategies and two state-level programs. The research shows effective strategies and programs rely on strong political leadership; adopt a whole-of-housing industry approach to consultation and implementation; communicate objectives effectively to all stakeholders; are resilient to changes of government, and are best run from a central agency with a flexible organisational structure that can respond quickly to opportunities.
Key Research Findings
This project examined state government-led innovations in affordable housing through analysis of two state-level strategies (the Western Australian Affordable Housing Strategy and the ACT Affordable Housing Action Plan and two state-level programs (the NSW Asset Vesting Program and the East Kimberley Transitional Housing Program).
Some programs, such as National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and state housing transfers, appear across states while other innovations, such as shared equity housing and low deposit home loans, are much less common. Some states have been more innovative than others.
The availability of Federal Government funding has proved critical in delivering affordable housing at scale, for example, NRAS and social housing delivered as part of the Nation Building Initiative.
The case studies evaluated during this research demonstrate how innovative affordable housing strategies and programs rely on strong political leadership, adopt a whole-of-housing industry approach to consultation and implementation and communicate objectives effectively to all stakeholders.
A strategy or program must be resilient. It must be able to survive a change of government and must be able to maintain its initial momentum through continual reinforcement of key messages and regular communication of achievements.
Strategies should be run from a central agency with a flexible organisational structure that can respond quickly to opportunities arising from housing market conditions and unexpected funding sources.
Effective leadership and innovative individuals are key components of a successful strategy/program and the most effective leadership creates the conditions within which innovation can flourish.
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute 2017