Why housing is too dear(letter)by Marc FlorioNews Weekly
, July 7, 2007
Let me reassure Emidio Restall (Letters, News Weekly
, June 23, 2007) that my letter to News Weekly
indicated that housing investors are a major contributing
factor to housing unaffordabilty, not the only factor.
Whatever the case, Mr Restall's letter does not address the premise that land speculation and absentee ownership are a fundamental cause of increasing land prices and that families with low to moderate incomes cannot financially compete against investors.
Private investment in housing is currently high, but this has not resulted in affordable rental properties. On the contrary, as a result of inflated house prices, the demand for private rental properties, especially in Melbourne and Sydney, is extremely high. This has resulted in a shortage of rental properties and in rental hikes.
There is an increasing inequality between the "over-housed" and those lacking stable and affordable housing. Given the numerous benefits of home ownership for families, especially security of tenure, affordable housing initiatives for low-moderate income households should primarily favour home ownership over other forms of tenure.
Community housing options, such as community land trusts (see my "Making home ownership affordable again", News Weekly
, September 2, 2006) are feasible alternatives to prevailing initiatives and policies.Marc Florio,
Keilor East, Vic.