The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) has released a new policy to help address Australia’s housing crisis. Improved Housing Outcomes – for affordable, sustainable housing.

“We know Australia is in the grip of a housing crisis.  A growing population and skyrocketing house prices mean living affordability and housing security is being stretched to the limit,” says Rebecca Douthwaite, chair of ASBEC’s Housing Policy Working Group and manager – Housing & Planning, Property Council of Australia.

“But there’s no one single solution to housing affordability.”

“First, we need to work to a plan. Future infrastructure needs to be scoped and delivered in the right places. Diverse medium and high density urban housing should be built along transport corridors and near amenities. Incentives to build the right type of homes are needed, while planning assessment for higher density developments must also be simplified,” she says.

However, while the price of homes is important, the costs of heating, cooling and lighting our houses are also crucial, along with the costs of travel to work and services.

“The key to cheaper running costs is improved energy efficiency,” says ASBEC’s executive director, Suzanne Toumbourou. 

“Not only are more energy efficient buildings more comfortable and healthy, but they have the added bonus of being a fast and cost-effective way to reduce emissions as well.”

“Public understanding of the benefits of energy efficient housing is limited, so education is required. Governments also need act to improve conformance and compliance with the energy performance standards for buildings in the national construction code.  If not, people won’t get the homes they’re paying for,” says Toumbourou.

Promoting an increase in urban density is also vital, so that people can be connected to employment and amenity, whilst accommodating our growing population. 

“We can fix the critical issues relating to living affordability, and deliver a diverse range of well designed, well located, affordable, sustainable housing for all the Australians who need it,” says Douthwaite.