City Futures Research Centre UNSW Built Environment

Affordable housing prospects in different market contexts

This project is one of three research projects supporting a major AHURI Evidence-Based Policy Inquiry entitled “Increasing affordable housing supply: evidence-based principles and strategies for Australian policy and practice”, led by the University of Sydney. The project is investigating the financial parameters and affordability outcomes of six carefully selected exemplar affordable housing projects that have included a variety of social and affordable housing types (rental and ownership). It uses the evidence collected to develop an affordable housing model that is capable of appraising project level affordability outcomes for given policy scenarios in different market contexts.  

Its core aims are to:

  1. Increase knowledge and understanding of the variety of ways that major completed affordable housing projects have been financed in Australia; and
  2. Use the information collected to quantify affordable housing outputs that would be achievable under different policy and market scenarios 

The research adopts a project level analysis to help address the Inquiry’s overall concerns with the efficacy of existing affordable housing strategies.    Key data obtained from project analysis will be used to develop a model which is capable of forecasting affordable housing outcomes for a given level of inputs under different market scenarios.    

The specific research questions the project will answer are: 

  1. What have been the costs, financial arrangements and affordability outcomes of exemplar affordable housing projects delivered in Australia in recent years? 
  2. What do these projects demonstrate about how procurement and operating costs, housing revenues and public subsidies interact in different markets to generate affordable housing outcomes and for which target groups?  
  3. What are the implications for affordable housing policy making and industry development in Australia?

The research began in the first quarter of 2016 and will report in mid-2017.