Housing issue more than bricks and mortar

If we didn’t know we were in housing crisis in the south and under stress in the north, then the last month has made it abundantly clear.

Instantly after the March election a housing summit was held to address the issue of affordable housing. 

A ministerial position was created just for housing and new incentive was announced to pay homeowners to rent their houses at affordable prices.

 There are also plans and incentives to increase affordable housing stock. 

The housing issue is more than just bricks and mortar. 

There is the issue of the shared economy and rise in Airbnb properties in Tasmania. Investment properties that once would have been tenanted are now used as accommodation.  This is due to the high demand of tourists and coordinated efforts to attract more visitors.

On the weekend the Launceston Airport put a request out on Facebook for any spare rooms, including Airbnbs as they searched for overnight accommodation due to a plane cancellation.

Tasmania has a population plan to not only attract more people, but professionals to the state.

House prices are growing at fast rates due to high demand and mainland interest.

Last week a report was released on inclusionary planning, which mandates a quota of affordable housing be built in a property development.

Every state in Australia has trialed some form of this, bar Tasmania.

Quotas are arguably not a good idea when it comes to private development. However, as Housing Choices Australia director Saul Eslake said, it is also important affordable housing is not concentrated into one area. 

Mr Eslake said inclusionary zoning addresses a change in attitude – to have low-income people living next door to you and knowing it won’t affect the price of your property. He questioned if we wanted affordable housing to be integrated or to create ghettos.

It makes sense for many investment properties to move into the Airbnb sphere. There is a stereotype that surrounds affordable housing – but unfortunately it is a stereotype for a reason.

The solution for the housing stress in the north will take more than just building homes – the answers lie as well as rely on many different areas and a social conversation is also to be had.

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