Poll seeks answers to affordability

THE residential development arm of the Property Council of Australia has launched an online poll to gauge public opinion on the current housing affordability crisis. The poll follows housing watchdog National Shelter’s report last month, which revealed almost 1.2 million households were in “housing stress”, defined as having to pay more than 30 per cent of their income in housing costs. Residential Development Council national executive director Ross Elliot said he believed the public generally understood the magnitude of the problem, particularly for younger generations trying to enter the market, but often did not understand the causes. Mr Elliot said there was a lot of speculation about where responsibility lay for the affordability crisis, but he did not believe it rested solely with banks, the development industry, or with consumer demand. “There’s a lot of speculation about the causes, which in our view lie clearly with limited supplies of land for housing, rising taxes on new homebuyers and excessive red tape in development assessment,” he said. “In our view, the state government in WA must release more land and stop restricting supply to force more people into high-density housing to meet its policy agenda.” Mr Elliot said the organisation was calling for a sufficient supply of land to create a competitive market. The poll can be found at

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