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Members in the media

News coverage and commentary from Henry Halloran Research Trust members

Members of the Henry Halloran Research Trust regularly appear in the media to comment on housing, development and sustainability issues and policy.

2023

ABC Illawarra interviewed Professor Leslie Stein from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning about Australia’s planning laws.

The Conversation published an article by Dr Jennifer Kent from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Dr Marlee Bower from the Faculty of Medicine and Health, and Honorary Adjunct Lecturer Dr Emily J Rugel from the Sydney Medical School about how loneliness is a product of the cities we create and a shared burden.

The Guardian quoted Professor Nicole Gurran from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning about Sydney’s expensive road tolls.

Nine News interviewed Professor Nicole Gurran from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning about Australia’s rental crisis.

ABC Radio Canberra interviewed Mr Cameron Murray from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning about new legislation for first home buyers.

2GB interviewed Professor Nicole Gurran from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning about the rental crisis. ABC News interviewed Professor Gurran about first home buyers.

Architecture & Design interviewed Dr Philip Gough from the Sydney School of Architecture and Design about the Summer Palace Pavilion by Albury City.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Professor Nicole Gurran from the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning about the need for affordable housing.

6PR interviewed Professor Nicole Gurran from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning about how Australia’s rental market is under “unprecedented pressure”. ABC Online also quoted Professor Gurran in an article about Airbnb’s influence on Australia’s rental crisis.

Hobart Mercury (syndicated) quoted Emeritus Professor Peter Phibbs from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning about a study he led that found more than two-thirds of short-stay accommodation listings in Tasmania’s second largest city were previously long-term rentals.

ABC Radio Newcastle interviewed Dr Caitlin Buckle, research associate in Housing Studies within the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, about how demographers are working on analysing and understanding housing trends revealed in Census data from 2021.

Architecture AU published an article by Ms Kate Goodwin from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning about the NGV contemporary exhibition.

ABC Radio Canberra interviewed Mr Cameron Murray from the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning about the record fall in the national home value.

2022

ABC Radio interviewed Professor Emeritus Peter Phibbs from the Henry Halloran Trust and the School of Architecture, Planning and Design about the housing crisis in Hobart.

ABC Radio Hobart interviewed Professor Emeritus Peter Phibbs from the Henry Halloran Research Trust about Hobart’s housing market.

Daily Mail Online - Australia's rental crisis in Sydney Melbourne Brisbane Perth now the worst since Great Depression.

ABC Radio National - National Housing Accord—one million new homes promised.

The Guardian - Why do we have such low rental vacancy? It doesn’t mean a shortage of houses. Cameron Murray 

ABC Radio National - The Roundtable: Innovations in social housing.

ABC Radio - Government announces plans to address the housing crisis.

TheConversation - The market has failed to give Australians affordable housing, so don't expect it to solve the crisis.

Bloomberg - Sydney Looks to Amp Up Nightlife to Shed Sleepy Reputation

ABC Radio Mornings interviewed Professor Nicole Gurran from the School of Architecture, Design, and Planning about the Festival of Urbanism and the topic of platform urbanism.

Architecture and Design and Architecture Au reported on the Festival of Urbanism and quoted Professor Nicole Gurran from the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning.

Artichoke Sydney quoted Kate Goodwin about shifts in Australian design.

ABC RN interviewed Elle Davidson and Dr Danièle Hromek, about First Nations’ architecture and urban planning.

Dallas Rogers - The Philosopher's Zone Three part series on housing

Dallas Rogers is producing a three-part series about housing on Radio National’s program, The Philosopher’s Zone with David Rutledge.

Listen to Episode 1 – Care Ethics, here.
Listen to Episode 2 – Rent, here.
Episode 3 will be broadcast on Sunday 18 Sept at 5.30pm.

The Conversation published an article co-authored by Cameron Murray, Research Fellow at the Henry Halloran Research Trust, which looked at an experiment conducted to see whether everyday people get seduced into favouring their mates at the expense of others. 

Australian Design Review published a story on the School of Architecture, Design and Planning’s Tin Shed gallery, Bill Lucas: Architect Utopian.

The Sydney Morning Herald (syndicated) reported on housing and inflation mentioning Dr Cameron Murray from the Henry Halloran Trust at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning.

ABC Radio Sydney interviewed Professor Nicole Gurran from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning about why high-rise buildings aren’t necessarily the solution for housing affordability. 

WA Today quoted Professor Nicole Gurran from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning in an article about how “the number of properties listed on Airbnb has skyrocketed above pre-pandemic levels”.

The Sydney Morning Herald (syndicated across Nine Publishing) quoted Professor Nicole Gurran from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning in an article about Sydney’s housing stress “hotspots”.

Sun Herald (syndicated across Nine Publishing) quoted Professor Nicole Gurran from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning about how Sydney recorded tens of thousands of empty homes on census night, with the lockdown and hard international border closure pushing vacancies higher than 2016.

ABC Statewide Drive interviewed Professor Peter Phibbs from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning about new laws in Tasmania which will crack down on the number of houses that can be made into short term stays with the aim that it will lead to more rentals. 

ABC Radio News discussed the current construction and housing crisis with Dr Cameron Murray from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning.

The Sydney Morning Herald (syndicated) reported owners of Reddam House are to turn a Harry Seidler building into a new school, quoting Professor Nicole Gurran from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning.

Sydney Morning Herald quoted Professor Nicole Curran from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning on the need to build more high-rise schools to match growing demand in high density areas.

Architecture & Design published a story about French architects Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal, who are in Australia for the first time since being appointed the inaugural Garry and Susan Rothwell Chairs in Architectural Design Leadership for the School of Architecture, Design and Planning.

ABC North Coast interviewed Cameron Murray from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning about his co-authored report the Staged Releases: Peering Behind the Land Supply Curtain.

The Guardian cited Dr Cameron Murray in an article on the need to revitalise public housing programs.

Sky News interviewed Professor Nicole Gurran about how it is still possible for Australia to return to the “golden period” of housing policy.

7 News interviewed Dr Cameron Murray about the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest interest rate decision.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Professor Nicole Gurran on how both policies would put only modest upward pressure on prices at the moment as rising interest rates pulled prices down, but said Labor’s shared equity scheme was marginally less risky for households as it offered a smaller mortgage.

ABC Late Night Live interviewed Professor Nicole about the “ideas being floated to fix Australia’s housing crisis”.

Community Radio Skid Row Professor Nicole discusses the housing crisis in Australia, and the housing policies of Labor, Liberal and The Greens.

ABC News interviewed Professor Nicole Gurran for After 10 years of Airbnb and short-stay rentals, is Australia ready for regulation?

ABC Radio National interviewed Professor Peter Phibbs about the proposed home ownership models.

WA Today also quoted Professor Gurran in a story on access to homes reserved for new home buyers. 

ABC 7.30 interviewed Professor Nicole Gurran for a special report on housing affordability and the latest major announcement from the Coalition, that would see first home buyers use their super to help them with their deposit. 

Architecture and Design quoted Professor Nicole Gurran and Dr Cameron Murray on how political legisation could ensure a certain percentage of homes are affordable and solely reserved for first home buyers.

ABC Radio Professor Nicole Gurran on Will Albanese deliver relief in public housing?

The Sydney Morning Herald (syndicated across Nine Publishing) quoted Professor Nicole Gurran from the School of Architecture, Design and Planning in an article about Sydney’s housing stress “hotspots”.

ABC Online quoted Professor Nicole Gurran about how rent assistance payment has been too low for some time and that if the government wants to improve the cost of living, increasing the rental assistance payment is a logical solution.

The West Australian quoted Professor Nicole Gurran about how availability issues cause rental market prices to soar.

Macrobusiness cited Dr Cameron Murray on how housing affordability is a distraction promoted by vested interests and reinforced by political incentives.

The New Daily quoted Dr Cameron Murray's view on the Tax and Revenue Committee's report on housing affordability and supply.

Your Investment Property cited Professor Nicole Gurran about how The Budget must restore investment in new social and affordable housing supply and increase the rent assistance subsidy for low-income earners.

2GB interviewed Professor Nicole Gurran on how short term rentals like Airbnb are impacting regional housing and making it hard to afford.

The Conversation published a piece by Dr Cameron Murray about how "HouseMate", a Singapore-inspired idea for using super for housing can cut costs by 50%.

The Sydney Morning Herald cited Professor Nicole Gurran on how poor housing affordability could become a significant risk factor during the pandemic.

Opinion

By Nicole Gurran, Emma Baker and Peter Phibbs

March 31, 2022

Opinion piece originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald

 

For a government professing concern about home ownership, new supply and affordability, the measures in this week’s budget fell flat – benefitting few, largely ignoring renters, and extending underperforming existing policy.

To some extent there were no surprises. The rhetorical emphasis on home ownership was laid down this month in the parliamentary report on Housing Supply and Affordability in Australia. Chaired by Liberal MP Jason Falinski, the report framed Australia as a “home-owning democracy” where “living under a landlord” represents a failure of that ideal.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s suggestion this week that the best way to help renters is to “help them to buy a house” shows us how deep this belief is. It ignores the reality that roughly a third of us rent, a third own our homes outright, and a third have a mortgage. The housing situation of very few Australians will be touched by any of the announcements.

The headline giveaway in the budget extended existing government guarantees for first-home buyers and will allow more than 50,000 households to take out low-deposit loans. It will no doubt be attractive for moderate income households able to borrow up to $760,000 for a property. But with interest rates set to rise, and the government’s own budget papers forecasting house prices to cool over the next 12 months, the decision to extend the scheme – which will stimulate demand without creating new supply – seems puzzling.

The budget also offers some targeted support for buyers of new homes in regional and remote areas. But the regional crisis is largely in the rental sector, where immediate relief is urgently needed.

Australia’s roughly 8 million renters have largely been left in the cold. Our 500,000 very low-income renters will remain in rental stress, and our public housing waiting lists will remain essentially unchanged. While about 1.2 million negatively geared landlords continue to claim rental losses, pleas to increase the Commonwealth Rental Assistance subsidy (currently about $4.7 billion a year) have been ignored.

There’s no real additional commitment to social housing, aside from a $2 billion extension to the affordable housing bond aggregator, extending the amount available for non-profit providers to borrow via the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation. This will support an estimated 10,000 new social housing units, against a current waiting list of about 160,000 households.

Perhaps the real constraint is a fear that effective housing affordability measures might cause property prices to fall – undermining consumer confidence, dampening historically high rates of new housing construction, and triggering a backlash from voters now exposed to eye-watering levels of debt.

By Nicole Gurran

May 2, 2022

Opinion piece originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald

 

With cost of living pressures starting to bite, housing affordability has moved to centre stage of the election campaign, but the policies of the two major parties are unlikely to deliver much relief to home owners or renters because when it comes down to it, neither party wants house values to fall.

Labor hopes to woo voters with a promise to help 10,000 aspiring first home buyers into the market via a new shared equity scheme. By the government taking on up to 40 per cent of the price of a new home (or 30 per cent of an existing property), Labor’s scheme will help moderate-income earners by reducing the amount they need to borrow upfront. It will allow qualifying households with at least a 2 per cent deposit to get into the market, and allow them to ultimately buy back the government’s equity share in their property over time, as their circumstances improve.

Shared equity schemes can help moderate-income earners because they reduce both the total loan amount as well as the deposit needed to buy a home. Several Australian states have modest schemes like this in place and they are well established in Britain. But unless they are targeted to dedicated new housing stock, Labor’s scheme may simply contribute to more house price inflation. The Greens’ shared equity scheme aims to underwrite a more ambitious 125,000 homes and is targeted at key workers.

The Liberal Party’s home deposit guarantee scheme allows moderate to higher income earners to take out home loans with only a 5 per cent deposit (or 2 per cent for single parents). Labor has a similar scheme for up to 10,000 first home buyers in regional areas. While likely to be popular with eligible first home buyers, experts have criticised the approach as fuelling demand without contributing to new housing supply. Worse, the scheme encourages first home buyers to take on very high levels of debt, at a time with interest rates are projected to rise, but the property market expected to cool.

What about renters? And with rents beginning to escalate especially in regional areas, the fastest relief for renters would be to increase rental subsidies, but neither party has promised to extend or increase rent assistance beyond the consumer price index.

The two major parties do not want house prices to fall because high house prices make the two-thirds of Australians who already own their homes feel wealthier, and that supports consumer confidence. Buoyant house prices also support new construction, one of Australia’s largest industries of employment. The combined spectre of rising costs of living, interest rate hikes, and falling house prices will exacerbate pressures across the entire economy.

With these economic headwinds gathering, it is mystifying that neither of the major parties are offering a significant boost to new social and affordable housing supply. Labor has made a modest commitment to increase the supply of social and affordable homes, funding 30,000 over the next three years. But with research pointing to a current undersupply of about half a million such dwellings, this promise is not enough.

For the past two decades, both sides of politics have emphasised housing supply as the answer to worsening affordability. But while the private market has delivered record levels of housing construction over the past five years, the supply of social housing has barely changed. With a cooling property market, the economic impetus for new private sector housing construction will also falter, affecting the construction industry.

In the past, government support for social housing construction offered counter-cyclical relief to the building industry, while ensuring that the supply of new homes matched population growth, not the vagaries of the housing market. Labor’s election policy does signal that the Commonwealth will resume its leading role in setting a national housing and homelessness plan, something which is sorely lacking in Australia.

Let’s hope that before the election, all parties add more weight to their promises around housing. To help first home buyers, any shared equity program should be linked to affordable and environmentally resilient new construction, leveraging the land use planning powers of the states. A much higher commitment to fund social and affordable housing is also necessary to meet existing backlog and forecast need. And Commonwealth Rent Assistance must be raised.

2021

Domain quoted Professor Nicole Gurran about there is a need to increase supply of social and affordable housing stock and improve the sustainability of housing built.

2020

Dr Cameron Murray's article titled 'Our states are crying poor. They wouldn’t if they charged for rezoning like the ACT', published in The Conversation.

Dr Cameron Murray's article titled 'The truth behind the housing supply nonsense', published in The Fifth Estate.

Dr Cameron Murray and our Director Professor Peter Phibbs on funding mechanisms for urban infrastructure, published in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The Conversation - Our Practitioner in Residence – Halvard Dalheim.

Halvard Dalheim on RNZ talking about his Conversation article – 10 minutes 37 second.