Highlights from the AHURI National Housing Conference in Brisbane

The biennial AHURI National Housing Conference took place last week over three days, in Brisbane. Delegates from Shelter NSW attended, including John Engeler, CEO of Shelter NSW and Chair of National Shelter. John featured in this 7news segment, following his contribution to the opening plenary session on Tuesday last week:

The theme of this year’s conference was “A Way Forward” and as John and many others noted throughout the week – there is industry-wide, expert, and public sector agreement that housing availability and affordability is at crisis point in this country.

What remains to be seen however, is how best to tackle the issue in a way that delivers justice and security of tenure for low-income households. We must collectively rail against the narrative that boosting private market housing supply will somehow automatically deliver appropriate dwellings for low-income households.

Many breakout sessions at the Conference cautioned against supply as king, especially where that supply delivers poor quality, low amenity, inaccessible housing.

There were many experts and bright minds delivering wonderful insights across the three days of the Conference. For instance, we attended a refresher course on housing co-ops, where Dr Louise Crabtree-Hayes teased that a new report will be launching in the coming months on the social benefits linked to housing co-op models in Australia:

Our very own Policy Officer, Kayla Clanchy, was a guest speaker at a session called “new thinking in regional housing”. Kayla presented a taste of her work on whole-home holiday letting (noting Shelter NSW submission to the NSW Independent Planning Commission) and provided some insights on frustrations within the planning system around assessing cumulative impacts of big infrastructure projects in the regions.