The Australian Institute of Architects hosted an event at Parliament House in Canberra on 22 March which addressed the housing affordability crisis in the country. It was attended by assistant minister to the treasurer, Michael Sukkar and National President, Ken Maher delivered a speech on behalf of the Institute.
Maher’s keynote emphasised the need for immediate, collective and well-planned action to address the crisis. It touched on methods such as setting clear and collective targets for affordable housing between all levels of government, increasing flexible and multi-generational housing options and, importantly, providing affordable housing where it is needed most – in urban centres where access to employment, education, services and facilities is highest.
Retrofitting our existing building stock into new living and social infrastructure, and increasing density in our cities were two suggestions made by Maher as solutions to the crisis. But underpinning Maher’s speech was the need for doing density well, i.e. matching increased density with appropriate transport and social infrastructure, ensuring higher-density housing is designed well, and ensuring that density is not done to the detriment of our environment.