Housing affordability is defined and measured in a variety of ways. For ASBEC, affordability means enabling people to make a housing choice that suits their needs within their available budget – regardless of whether it involves renting, ownership or having options as they age.
Housing is integral to health, wellbeing and economic outcomes for all Australians. Housing policy has a significant effect on the lives of Australians, because it influences the connectivity and proximity of housing to other land uses, including transport, employment, community services such as hospitals and schools, and recreational activities. It is also a significant contributor to economic activity, being responsible for many thousands of jobs both directly and indirectly.
To support affordable living outcomes, housing policy must promote the provision of diverse dwellings to cater for needs at all stages of life, and encourage density in the right places, with improved access to jobs and services. This requires:
- Long term alignment between population growth and housing supply, with periodic targets integrated into adopted planning policy.
- Strategic planning for accessible centres to link residential concentrations with jobs and services, reducing the costs of transport and vulnerability to social exclusion.Cost effective and timely delivery of urban infrastructure integrated with strategic planning, including: public transport, roads, community facilities and utilities for greenfield and urban infill areas.
- The adoption of best practice design principles to functionally enhance the sustainability and resilience of the built environment, with high quality urban design ensuring creating a sense of place.
- Improved sustainability of buildings, including minimum standards for the energy performance of new and existing buildings, which recognise whole of life costs.
- Continuous reform of land use planning and processes, to encourage supply of diverse housing where it ensures equivalent incentives for detached dwellings and a diversity of medium density housing types that promote design quality and sustainability.
- Ensuring the market operates efficiently to supply housing for all market segments, including the availability of housing stock that meets the needs of very low to moderate income earners.
- Regulatory frameworks that encourage innovation and efficiencies in the housing supply chain, such as modular construction, pre-fabrication and bringing new products to market more cost efficiently.