For years, Melbourne’s population has grown faster than our housing stock has been able to keep up. The result is housing scarcity: a framework in which shelter, an essential human need, is not made readily available for all. This is due to a set of perverse incentives, including a decades-long status quo in which housing has been the primary method for Australians to accumulate household wealth. This has made reform challenging, as the call for affordable housing—that is, the call for housing prices to fall—requires great political willpower to execute. We at YIMBY Melbourne call for house prices to explicitly fall, and we believe the best way to bring that lowering of prices is through a framework of housing abundance.
Contrary to housing scarcity, housing abundance is a framework in which it is easy to build within our cities, and where growth happens around amenities and infrastructure, augmenting our existing communities with more resources and citizens. For a bigger, better, and more sustainable Melbourne, housing abundance, via inner-city densification and building up, rather than out, is the only viable path forward.
This document contains three sections.
- The positive outcomes for renters and homeowners within a housing abundant framework.
- The conservative biases and failings of local council planning tools.
- Select state-level reforms that would in-part help alleviate the worst effects of the housing crisis.
We conclude this submission by providing a summary of our recommendations.