Policy-makers have long understood the relationship between housing and the economy through the multiplier effects of housing investment on national income and employment. There has, in contrast, been little regard to the longer term productivity and growth impacts of housing. Housing advocates and policy-makers usually focus on the social dimensions of housing.
This scoping study reviewed evidence of links between housing and productivity in order to understand how housing processes and outcomes impact economic growth in Australia. The researchers sought out national and international evidence on how housing shapes growth from the fields of economics, housing, planning and local economic development. They also examined metropolitan and local area plans and strategies in Western Australia and Victoria to see whether practitioners had developed ways of connecting housing and economic development. More than 100 planning documents were assessed, and interviews carried out with eighteen policy-makers in twelve illustrative areas.