Developing the scale and capacity of Australia's affordable housing industry

AHURI Final Report 278
20 April 2017

The key to the affordable housing industry’s future is that governments, in consultation with affordable housing providers, establish a clear industry vision with defined policy objectives, and specify medium-term growth strategies and targets to realise that vision.

Whether involving new finance or the redirection of existing housing subsidies, government financial support is essential to complement private financing of additional affordable housing supply. Inadequate government co-funding is the primary capacity constraint that providers currently face in their efforts to expand affordable housing. Affordable housing targets mandated through the planning system are a highly desirable complementary reform.

Continuity of policy and funding settings is crucial to build confidence in the industry, maintain momentum for reform, and attract private investment at scale. In this regard recent volatility has damaged industry capacity and wasted resources.

Governments need to embrace responsibility for leadership on affordable housing, and restore their policy-making capacity. Designating a dedicated minster and agency for this purpose is recommended. The ‘affordable housing policy’ remit needs to extend beyond the human services realm.

The provider part of industry needs to strengthen its leadership and profile, invest in professional development and continue to build capacity in its supporting institutions and networks.

A complete overhaul of the existing provider regulation system is required.

Specific policy-maker attention to securing a viable future for Indigenous housing organisations is pressing.

To steer the industry’s future and promote collaboration, establishing a joint government-industry Affordable Housing Industry Council is recommended.

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Vivienne Milligan, Hal Pawson, Rhonda Phillips, Chris Martin, Elton Consulting, 2017, Developing the scale and capacity of Australia's affordable housing industry, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, viewed 27 April 2017, <http://apo.org.au/node/75889>.

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