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For an increasing proportion of Australian households, the Australian dream of home ownership is no longer an option. Neoliberal housing policy and the financialisation of housing has resulted in a housing affordability crisis. Historically, Australian housing policy has afforded only a limited role to local government. This article analyses the results of a nation-wide survey of Australian local governments’ perceptions of housing affordability in their local government area, the possibilities for their meaningful intervention, the challenges they face, the role of councillors and councils’ perceptions of what levels of government should take responsibility for housing. Almost all of the respondents from Sydney and Melbourne councils were clear that there is a housing affordability crisis in their local government area. We apply a framework analysing housing policy in the context of neoliberalism and the related financialisation of housing in order to analyse the housing affordability crisis in Sydney and Melbourne. We conclude that in order to begin resolving the housing crisis in Australia’s two largest cities there has to be an increasing role for local government, a substantial increase in the building of social and affordable housing and a rollback of policies that encourage residential property speculation.
Previous chapters examined how medical providers and the health care financing system have contributed to health inequities that Black people and disabled people in the United States encounter. But having health insurance and getting to see an unbiased, high quality doctor are not necessarily the most important contributors to promoting health and health equity, either for individuals or at the population level. More important are other determinants of health. These include individual behaviors like smoking, diet, and exercise and –critically – the social and physical environments that shape individual conduct.1 To give one example: neighborhood safety and availability of parks or playgrounds nearby influence a person’s ability to exercise conveniently and safely. Healthy behavior takes some individual initiative, but that initiative is far more likely when social and physical environments make healthy options available and easy to choose.2
This chapter begins by noting the key ingredients in Akerlof and Shiller’s bestseller Animal Spirits but goes on to cover a far wider range of macroeconomics issues, including a detailed coverage of Minsky’s “financial instability hypothesis” that prefigures their work. After examining alternative theories of how speculative markets work and discussing herding behavior via both information and decision rule cascades, the chapter considers Keynesian view of animal spirits in relation to liquidity preference, leading to a discussion of Katana’s work on the impact of consumer confidence on discretionary spending. Next comes analysis of saving behavior in relation to innovative mortgage products and the impact of evolving bank lending rules on housing affordability. After considering Minsky’s work, material from earlier chapters is used to provide new perspectives on involuntary unemployment, inflation, exchange rate determination and the importance of non-price factors in the determination of international trade (with a discussion of the limited ways in which exchange rates shape trade). Finally, behavioral analysis of decision-making is applied to the making of macroeconomic policy.
Given the competing needs for food and housing under the limited household income among poor families, there is lack of research on the associations between housing affordability and food insecurity. The current study examines how housing cost burden affects food insecurity of low-income families and whether decreased housing cost enhances food security.
Longitudinal data from the Korean Welfare Panel Study, of which the final sample for the analysis consisted of 31 304 household-level observations from 5466 households based on twelve waves (2007–2018).
Low-income households in the lowest 40 % of household income distribution.
19·3 % had food insecurity, and housing cost burden was associated with food insecurity. While in-kind housing assistance and in-cash assistance from all sources were likely to reduce food insecurity partially through influencing housing cost burden, in-cash housing assistance was associated with higher likelihood of food insecurity.
Housing cost burden potentially limits food access among poor families, and housing assistance, particularly public housing and sufficient in-cash assistance, is conducive to alleviating food insecurity.
This article summarises the long-run decline in housing affordability in England and suggests this is substantially attributable to shortfalls in housing supply. Public attitudes to housing have become increasingly pro-development in recent years and the current policy framework – summarised in the article – seeks to provide a comprehensive and rounded response to the challenges facing the housing market.
In housing affordability levels and volatility, there could hardly be a greater contrast than between the UK and Germany. Differences in history, institutions and policies are explored in this paper. Residential housing supply has been far more expansionary in Germany and mortgage credit more tightly regulated. A sensibly regulated rental market and stable German house prices have combined to leave the rental sector with over half of tenures. Policy failures in the UK have resulted in widening intergenerational inequality, increased social exclusion, adversely affected productivity and growth and raised the risk of financial instability. Policy lessons are drawn for the UK, which go far beyond the remit of the immediately responsible Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
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