Covid-19 is stirring up the possums and breathing life into old ideas that many Australians of all political shades thought would never see the light of day again:
  • Removing stamp duty, for one
  • Once more getting governments fully immersed in housing – social and affordable
  • Seeing low income workers who need these housing types as essential workers
  • Dreaded foes – the Master Builders Association and the building union CFMEU – joining up to create 30,000 new social housing units worth possibly $10 billion (since the two own the CBus super fund; it makes sense really)
  • Fast tracking of planning to get more buildings built (it didn’t work in the GFC because there’s way more than planning approvals needed to justify a new block of units than fast approvals)
  • A dramatic lowering of immigration with the prime minister telling students and temporary migrant workers to “go home”? (What happens to the housing market now?)
  • Government making land available for social housing (What will Treasury say when it’s wanting money for schools and hospitals if the land is not sold at market price?)
  • Slowing down big burly infrastructure projects such as freeways and the Badgerys Creek airport (maybe pouring more money into social housing instead?)
  • Will all the new work to prop up construction and building be sustainable? Meet our Paris commitments? Not cost an arm and a leg to heat and cool?

And so much more…

Wednesday 13, 1 pm – 2 pm

(could go on for another 3 hours we reckon, but … we will try and be disciplined)


Kate Colvin is deputy chief executive officer of the Council to Homeless Persons and spokesperson for the national housing and homelessness campaign Everybody’s Home, an alliance of over 200 organisations and more than 27,000 community supporters advocating for a fairer housing system in Australia.

Jago Dodson is professor of Urban Policy and director of the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University. He’s the author (with others) of works such as Shocking the Suburbs: Oil Vulnerability in the Australian CityThe business case for social housing as infrastructureHousing, multi-level governance and economic productivity; Getting Dense: Why Has Urban Consolidation Been So Difficult?  

Adrian Harrington, chair Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) and non-executive director of National Housing and Finance Investment Corporation (NHFIC). Adrian has 28 years’ experience in property and funds management, holding senior positions at Charter Hall, Folkestone, Mirvac, Deutsche Asset Management and the Property Council of Australia.

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