Place-based policies will relieve regional housing stress: AHURI

Increased demand for housing in the regions during the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated social and economic disadvantage, new university research suggests.

In places where social and affordable housing is in short supply, lower-income tenants, including students and young unemployed people, are now at increased risk of experiencing more housing stress and precarity.

The findings come from a study examining the consequences of Covid-19 for households in regional Australia, using Tasmania as a case study.

The Tasmanian-specific research found that regional housing markets have experienced few serious consequences because of the pandemic, although the report adds that the state’s housing market was experiencing substantial affordability pressures before Covid-19.

“The housing impacts of Covid-19 have been uneven and challenging, especially for lower-income tenants in the private rental market,” the report says.

“Recovery policies should be place-based, scaled appropriately, targeted to need, and funded appropriately.”

“The Australian Government should provide leadership, engaging all three levels of government, community and private sectors in future, and intergenerational investment in Australian regions to address housing-related disadvantage,” the study adds.

Pathways to regional housing recovery from Covid-19 is published by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI).