There are lots of different suggestions on how to ‘fix’ Australia’s Housing Crisis. But really what is the best option and how easy is it going to be?
Should the federal Government phase in a broad-based land tax similar to the one already introduced in ACT?
It has been said that this would encourage home owners to make the best use of land limiting the number of vacant homes left by foreign or local property investors and decreasing the number of spare bedrooms within the house not getting used.
Hal Pawson, a housing policy expert at the University of New South Wales believes the Country does nothing to discourage this waste on space and says, “It’s arguably encouraged by the “tax on mobility” constituted by stamp duty and the exemption of the family home from the pension assets test.”
Fill in the Missing Middle?
The housing market has reached two extremes, at one end, high-rise apartment tower blocks, meeting the demand for cheaper living in the inner city and at the other, a freestanding house on a quarter-acre block with lots of open space in the suburban outskirts. There is however a gap, the middle has gone missing. We have lost housing options like townhouses, terraces and manor houses.
It is said that if attention is turned back to “the missing middle” it would be found that terrace houses are more affordable because they require less land and area. They are also more sustainable because they share common walls, which provide better noise and energy insulation; and they provide private outdoor spaces for families. If this change did not occur the only options available would be to renovate, build a granny flat or add on a small second dwelling that could be rented.
These are only two of a long list of opinions and ideas. It is not going to be a quick fix. There are many, many factors to consider and lots of different opinions on how to reach the ultimate goal. Perseverance, determination and focus are said to be the key for the road ahead.