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GLOBAL HOUSING CRISIS: Australia, Canada and UK face common questions


Western countries are tackling similar housing problems, but some have adapted to a new environment more easily.

Now is the deepest winter of discontent in UK housing for 30 years. Half a decade of recession and credit rationing have depressed housing values and reduced market investment to the lowest levels in half a century. Public investment has been slashed, and the flow of new housing, especially for the poorest households, has slowed to a trickle. The next half decade offers the prospect of continuing market sluggishness and deepening cuts in investment and welfare budgets.

Increased government investment is needed, but there is unlikely to be any fast return to large-scale public funds for housing, even as the economy recovers. With rising household numbers and stagnant incomes, the gap between provision and needs is growing alarmingly, and if austerity continues, so will the housing crisis.Badly designed housing policy exacerbates the effects of deep cuts. However, there is still hope for a better housing system in Britain.

Over the last year the University of St Andrews has facilitated a conversation between Places for People and Glasgow Housing Association, and leading non-profit housing organisations in Norway, Australia and Canada. In the latter two countries, non-profit organisations have had to survive, even thrive, in tough times for more than a decade.  See full article here