Affordable housing – a community problem?

Samaritans CEO

In order to address the affordable housing crisis our Government needs to support the growth of the supply of low cost rental housing but so does the community. Whilst most community members agree there is a need for more affordable housing developments, there is often negative sentiment with many preferring it wasn’t happening in their own area. The key concerns raised most often by community members is the potential for their property value to decrease; and/or disruption of their neighbourhood life. Is there is any truth these concerns will actually eventuate though? Interestingly enough, studies have revealed most likely not.

Of 17 affordable housing developments examined in Brisbane, results revealed no significant negative impacts on local property prices. The factors that weighed most on property prices were characteristics such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms rather than the proximity to affordable housing developments. Similarly, the feared disruption to neighbourhood life did not materialise into an issue. In a study across eight affordable housing projects in Sydney, 78% of respondents living in the area reported no negative impacts on their quality of life as a result.

In most cases the perceived impact of affordable housing impact is worse than the actual outcome. As a community we all have a part to play in breaking the stigma and embracing new developments that boost the supply of low cost rental housing and provide safe and secure accommodation for those doing it tough.

Samaritans is a charity that assists thousands of people in need throughout Newcastle & the Hunter. Find out how Samaritans can help you here