Bridging the Gap: Solutions for Housing Affordability

Bridging the Gap: Solutions for Housing Affordability

This September, a not-to-be-missed workshop on tackling housing affordability is coming your way, thanks to the University of Adelaide’s foremost economists. The free workshop, titled “Economics of Housing Solutions,” will unfurl a tapestry of insights and solutions for one of the most pressing issues of our time. Organized jointly by Associate Professor Duygu Yengin from the University’s School of Economics and Public Policy, the event will be held on September 29 and is open to everyone.

Associate Professor Yengin pulls no punches when she says, “A lot of efforts aimed at solving the housing crisis have been pointed in the wrong direction. Policies like first homeowner grants and tax breaks are like throwing gasoline on fire—they jack up demand and make houses even less affordable.” According to her, the magic bullet to alleviating Australia’s housing woes lies in focusing on the supply side of the equation.

Deep-diving into the intricacies of housing markets, Yengin’s research explores pragmatic ways South Australia can supercharge urban renewal and snuff out urban sprawl, thereby creating a landscape for more affordable housing options. “Urban sprawl isn’t just a planning annoyance; it’s a life-quality diminisher, extending commute times, ramping up infrastructure costs, and making job access trickier,” she explains. “We need to be bold in embracing medium to high-density residential areas, especially in well-connected suburbs.”

At the workshop, Yengin will share a sneak peek into her latest research paper: “Expropriation Power in Private Dealings: Quota Rule in Collective Sales.” The study dissects the transformative effect of planning laws that permit the dissolution of strata schemes through a majority decision. “Swapping out aging, low-rise blocks for newer, medium-density structures can do wonders for both increasing housing supply and thwarting urban sprawl,” she notes.

She also highlights a significant legislative shift in New South Wales in 2016. “They went ahead and made it possible to sell a strata scheme to a developer if 75% of owners agree. The result? Strata sales nearly doubled, accelerating urban renewal,” she says. Yengin believes a similar legislative change could send ripples of positive change across South Australia’s housing landscape.

Co-sponsored by the University of Adelaide’s Stretton Institute and the Economic Society of Australia, the workshop aims to be a crucible of thought leadership. It assembles a who’s who of economists and policymakers for a day chock-full of riveting presentations and panel discussions, all laser-focused on devising tangible solutions to Australia’s housing affordability quandary.

For those eager to join this groundbreaking discussion, the full program details and booking instructions are just a click away online. Make sure you mark September 29 on your calendar—you won’t want to miss this!

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