Housing affordability and the empty homes scandal

The inspiration to start writing (again) about housing affordability came from left field. I was sitting back enjoying an American roots band, The Brothers Comatose, at the Blue Mountains Music Festival in Katoomba. Lead singer and front man Ben Morrison introduced the band, saying they were from San Francisco but maybe not for long. “The price of houses is crazy there (man) and most of the musicians I know are moving out because they can’t…

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King decrees universal basic income

The question for the week is, what, apart from introducing a universal basic income, would you do if you were King, President or Prime Minister for a day? The term ‘King for a Day,’ which has inspired more than a dozen pop songs and an obscure opera by Verdi, implies that for 24 hours you get to be loved by the masses. You can loll about in a high-backed chair, gold orb and sceptre in…

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Homelessness and affordable housing

Last week I was walking from Roma Street Station to the top end of George Street, the hub of State Government. I was meeting friends for lunch and on the way passed a few apparently homeless young men on park benches, one tucked inside a doorway, others hovering around intersections, nervously smoking. One young person was sitting on the footpath with a cardboard sign that read “homeless – please help”. I was too preoccupied on…

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Australia’s hardship index

There’s an Aussie saying – ‘they’re doing it tough’, which can mean any variation on the theme of hardship, be it financial, emotional, physical or all three at once. When the word ‘hardship’ is employed, it typically means financial struggle: in other words, privation, destitution, poverty, austerity, penury, impecuniousness and so on. If you search the word ‘hardship’ online you will find a range of links purporting to explain (if you are doing it tough),…

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