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Conference paper

Building a holistic approach: towards an interdisciplinary platform for housing affordability

Building design Housing Affordable housing House construction Australia
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apo-nid306159.pdf 2.69 MB

This paper calls for greater collaboration and interdisciplinary knowledge transfer within the house building industry to improve housing affordability. The paper theorises the integration of design, construction, innovative planning, policy, financial, development, and land use mechanisms as a new interdisciplinary framework to complement existing knowledge, which can assist housebuilders, and those within the housing industry generally, in achieving improved affordability. The need for improved interdisciplinary collaboration within the field of housing affordability has been fuelled by a recent push in academia for research to span beyond disciplinary boundaries. However, there is still a disconnect between socio-economic consumption-oriented approaches, (Ball, 1986) and the realities of economics, exchange, and production in delivering housing. This divide is also evident in industry where housebuilding companies are often unaware of the political complexities or planning mechanisms associated with housing affordability due to their aversion to risk and focus on design and construction. Instead, an increased focus on issues of social corporate responsibility (Murray and Dainty, 2009) and new affordability policies (Menon et al, 2019) are driving housebuilders’ interest in affordability. At the same time ‘start-up’ ventures are threatening to disrupt the construction industry, and housebuilding companies are beginning to explore more holistic and interdisciplinary approaches. Utilising a design research methodology, this paper links issues of compartmentalisation within housing research and industry, with the need for greater interdisciplinary knowledge transfer, and establishes an analytical framework for housing affordability solutions. This investigation reveals the opportunity to integrate fields of knowledge across the housebuilding industry, and builds an argument for a new interdisciplinary and collaborative housebuilding platform to provide a holistic approach for improving housing affordability.

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