“We need a definition for affordable housing” said at least two panel members at the UDIA / Community Housing Federation forum (‘Delivering Affordable Housing’) on Wednesday 1 February 2017 in Melbourne.
So, after many years of concern and discussion on this topic of ever increasing importance, we are told we need a definition – round and round it goes!
There was little new that came out of the forum, opened by Treasurer Tim Pallas, who spent the first part of his speech being a typical politician (bagging the Federal Government – that just happens to be on the other side of the political fence) and the second part talking about his / the Victorian Government initiatives. Most were laudable but few addressed in any direct way the forum topic, other than as these initiatives address total living costs.
Some of the issues / problems raised by the panel (Damien Tangey, UDIA Victoria; Nicola Foxworthy, Common Equity Housing Limited; Brett Wake, Community Housing Federation Victoria, Dean Rzechta, 94Feet and Sean Hogan, ISPT Pty Ltd) included:
It was interesting that for such a complex issue whose solutions include clearly the need for the regulators, financiers and providers to work together, in the summation by the Chair of Community Housing Federation, she thanked the Treasurer, said the solutions needed “a whole of government approach”, encouraged Federal Government involvement but did not mention the panel members and made no mention of the role of the commercial housing sector, despite three of the panellists being from that sector – but perhaps this is nit picking.
I left the forum with the clear view that it again was a discussion of the problems but with very little on “delivering” affordable housing – but perhaps I am being too cynical?
This article appeared on Collie's website on February 3rd. Michael Collie is Director at Collie Pty Ltd, a multi-disciplinary Southbank-based firm with interests in strategic planning, development planning, urban design and landscape architecture.