Australia has one of the least affordable housing markets in the world; and whilst housing affordability is of continuing concern for Australia, it is no longer an issue that is exclusive to metropolitan Australia. There is a growing body of Australian research that considers the use of state-initiated land use planning systems as a lever to increase the supply of affordable housing. What remains unknown, is how Australian local governments are mediating state-initiated land use planning policies, particularly in a non-metropolitan setting. By adopting Dean’s (2010) “analytics of government” narrative, this research called into question the ways in which Australian State governments attempt to control the housing market (particularly the supply of affordable housing), through specific regimes of practice (such as the land use planning system) and technologies of government (such as local government development assessment tools).
This paper presents a key element of an analytics of government, by considering the problematisation of affordable housing and exploring how the governing of affordable housing, through the land use planning system, has developed over time. Further, this paper demonstrates how land use planning systems in Victorian and South Australian are used to address affordable housing. This paper highlights the relevance of governmentality to housing policy research by illustrating how governments create and use power through funding and legislation to achieve a desired end.