Australia is confronted by escalating challenges in regards to housing.

Australia has:

  • One of the most unaffordable housing markets in the world
  • Decreasing home ownership
  • A minimal and diminishing stock of public housing and
  • Pockets of poverty and disadvantage in the private rental sector

These conditions have fuelled a search for new policy solutions in housing and the desire to recruit a new range of actors – including local governments – into the formation of housing policies and programs.

This research project investigates the role of local government in housing Australians in the 21st Century. The project, a 3-year mixed-methods study, will examine this relationship between local government and housing, and identify new ways in which local governments – and the communities they represent – can meet their housing aspirations. The project will identify and develop a suite of policies and actions for use by local governments across Australia in metropolitan, rural and regional settings.

The study will do the following:

  • Phase One: A review of the relevant legislative and regulatory reforms (post 2000) that affect the interplay between local governments and housing.
  • Phase Two: In-Depth Interviews and focus groups with key informants on how local governments view housing issues will be the focus of this phase. Informants will be drawn from state and local governments, the non-government housing sector, local government associations and housing consumer groups. The jurisdictions to be focused on include South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.
  • Phase Three: This phase will involve an online survey of all Local Governments in Australia to examine their engagement and experience with housing-related issues.
  • Phase Four: In this phase we will embark on in-depth analysis of the experiences of local governments with housing from across the Australian urban system – including rural, remote, suburban, and inner urban settings. Eight to ten localities will be focused on.
  • Phase Five: The final phase will involve the dissemination of the findings through academic and policy channels, including presentations to industry partner and groups at both national and international forums

The project involves a partnership between two of Australia’s leading research universities: the University of South Australia and the University of Technology Sydney.  The research is being conducted in partnership with Berri Barmera Council, City of Mount Gambier, City of Playford, City of Sydney, Greater Bendigo City Council, Gwydir Shire Council, Moonee Valley City Council, Mount Alexander Shire Council, Randwick City Council, Rural City of Murray Bridge, Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Waverley Council