15 January 2024

Regions to descend on Canberra seeking solutions to housing crisis

| Chris Johnson
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Old Parliament House

Old Parliament House will host the upcoming regional housing summit. Photo: Aditya Joshi.

Regional Australia has a housing crisis and Old Parliament House in Canberra will next month host a congregation of regional leaders and concerned citizens looking for answers to the growing problem.

The National Regional Housing Summit 2024, to be held on Friday, 9 February, will discuss home ownership, social and affordable housing, and rental availability across the various regional housing markets in Australia.

Presented by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI), the summit is described as a ‘critical conversation’ for regional Australia and crucial for decision-makers and influencers working to address the housing crisis.

It will hear from, among others, those implementing and advocating for regional, place-based solutions to housing challenges.

RAI chief executive officer Liz Ritchie said although regional Australia is experiencing extraordinary change, with more people than ever looking to make a life outside the cities and regional job vacancies continuing to reach monthly record highs, housing is still impeding growth in the regions.

Rental vacancies are at all-time lows and new housing is falling behind the needs of the population.

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Ms Ritchie said regional Australia is on the frontline of Australia’s housing challenge.

About 9.6 million people now call the regions home, and while the regional rental vacancy rate has increased from 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent, and is higher than capital cities (1.1 per cent), monthly building approvals in the regions have declined.

There are some regional and rural towns, however, where rental availability remains below 0.1 per cent.

Opening the RAI’s Regions Rising Summit in September last year, Ms Ritchie described housing and workforce targets as the Achilles’ heel of regional Australia.

“Regional employers across the country have been telling us that it’s getting harder and harder to fill roles,” Ms Ritchie said.

“Also, having the right homes to accommodate new staff is a critical factor and that is why we must look at these issues in unison.”

She used that gathering to deliver her institute’s progress report one year after the launch of its Regionalisation Ambition 2032 plan. It shows that while progress is being made towards some targets, housing is seriously lagging.

Despite a population surge to regional Australia continuing over the previous 12 months, building approvals have declined and finding staff to fill critical roles has become tougher.

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Next month’s housing summit will convene local governments and communities, federal and state governments, industry and peak body representatives, and the not-for-profit sector to identify solutions and ensure the region’s housing needs are understood and reflected in new and emerging housing policy and investment.

Participants will learn about new initiatives aimed at tackling housing crises in their own areas and be able to discuss their specific housing needs with some of their own regional leaders.

Unique place-based policy and investment solutions that are being trialled will be presented at the summit and the institute will explain its latest research identifying various regional market clusters around the nation.

Independent Member for Indi Helen Haines will be a keynote speaker, explaining the housing crisis from the perspective of a federal MP representing a regional area.

Original Article published by Chris Johnson on Riotact.

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cannedbeeria8:48 pm 15 Jan 24

Another talkfest. All the vested interests will be there to spruke their own agenda, with the common denominator being more $$$ for all.
And that’s the problem. Too many hangers-on with too much money to gain.
Governments, developers, real estate agents and banks all conspire to keep prices ever higher by careful manipulation of supply. Councils have rates $$$ to gain. Banks make huge profits off the backs of hard-working Australians by inflating every Reserve Bank interest rate rise. Governments make huge profits from land sales. Developers… Why are there Developers??
Agents make ever increasing revenue by talking up the market.
Two possible ideas/solutions:
1: Home loan interest rates are fixed at the time of sale. as it is in the USA. Works for them.
2: Governments build cheap homes. It used to work here in Australia, why can’t it work again?
I can hear the cry from all the money grabbers: ” It will ruin the housing industry!” Well, mybe that’s what is required. It shouldn’t be an ” Industry”, reliant on the poor punter only trying to house his family.
Years ago people bought a house as a roof over the heads of their family. Not to make money. Now it’s all about the $$$
My Dad and Mum as their first home. bought a Governmet home in Canberra, on a loan fixed at ONE percent. There were thousand of Government houses in Canberra.
NSW Housing Commission seemed to work ok.

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