Homeless people sleeping in their cars

Today’s headline about homeless people could well be an urban myth; that is, a story people tell each other, swearing that it’s true. The housing crisis in Australia – a combination of unaffordable housing and scarce rental properties – is forcing people to live in their cars. I’ve done a bit of fact checking on this, but hang around while I relate this story from Tasmania. We’d stopped at Scottsdale, a high country town in…

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Affordable housing – a key election issue

Wherever you go in Australia to visit friends and family, the conversation very soon turns to the scarcity and high cost of rental housing. The topic will then quickly shift to the ever-rising cost of houses and why parents worry about their adult kids taking on seven-figure mortgages. As residential property analyst Michael Matusik recently said, it comes down to the Bank of Mum and Dad. Few cities or towns have escaped the 20% rise…

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When Aussie families lived in kerosene tin huts

This week we are leaving president-elect Joe Biden to struggle with his Disunited States, to reflect on a time in Australia’s history when homeless people were forced to build kerosene tin huts. This Depression-era story may also give us pause for contemplation as the year-long corona virus pandemic sends many nations into deep recession. No-one wants to use the D-word but also no-one can predict how long countries will have to deal with Covid lock-down periods….

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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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