In early-1991 the National Housing Strategy, established by the Department of Community Services and Health, commissioned Alastair Greig and Patrick Troy to undertake the research project "Structure, Organisation and Skill Formation in the Australian Housing Industry: Factors Affecting Production Costs". This paper provides a background on the focus and nature of the project. The paper will also review Australian and overseas literature relating to the subject. This will be done by providing:
an outline of the aims and objectives of the project as established by the National Housing Strategy, and an outline of the relevance of the project to the issue of housing costs;
a description of the methodology to be adopted and the theoretical framework informing the project;
a description of the structure of housing provision and its agents;
a discussion of Australian housing production activity and the changing market environment which agents confront; and
a preliminary discussion of new technology and new managerial strategies, and their possible effect on efficiency, innovation and skill formation within the housing industry.
Throughout 1991 the researchers will be approaching a wide range of people in order to discuss the structure of housing provision, to examine problems facing the agents within the industry, and to understand how corporate strategies evolve to meet changing circumstances. Discussions will focus on issues of efficiency, innovation, skill formation and inter-firm linkages. It is hoped that this paper will help to clarify the issues, contribute to a better understanding of housing industry policy reform options and address the issues of accessibility, affordability and lower housing costs.
Urban Research Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University