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Journal article

‘Housing risk’ and the neoliberal discourse of responsibilisation in Victoria


The article examines the representation of housing risk in contemporary Australian policy discourse through a critical analysis of two policy texts from the recent Victorian Coalition government (2010–2014). Drawing on governmentality theory and contemporary debates on neoliberalism, it examines how these policy texts perpetuate a discourse in which ‘housing risk’ is primarily understood as an issue for individuals to manage, rather than as an issue with predominantly structural roots. It then explores how this particular neoliberal representation of ‘housing risk’ supports policy solutions that ultimately responsibilise individuals through a narrow focus on education and employment as the pathways to independence in the private housing market. The article argues that this situation is problematic in a context of increasing rates of homelessness and diminished access to affordable housing across Australia.

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