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Carolyn Whitzman, Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne will bring together three global experts to discuss the challenges of affordable housing.

To be held at the Melbourne School of Design on Tuesday 4 August, the panel discussion ‘Three Perspectives on Affordable Housing’ aims to address the issue of affordable housing and to brainstorm solutions.

Whitzman currently heads a research team called 'Transforming Housing’ to facilitate opportunities for quality affordable housing across the private and public spheres.

According to Whitzman, there’s an urgent need for affordable housing solutions in Melbourne given the almost non-existent availability today coupled with the fact that Melbourne will be Australia’s largest city by 2050 as predicted by ABS.

She explained that the term ‘affordable housing’ referred to housing where the rent or mortgage payment did not exceed 30 per cent of gross household income, with an emphasis on low and moderate income households.

Quality housing refers to housing located near public transport or walking/cycling routes, having access to jobs and services such as education and healthcare, as well as diversity and design in addition to good light, storage, community space and green space.

The global panel of experts will address viable solutions to the crisis from three perspectives:

  • The not-for-profit sector will look at housing solutions, in particular a program for at-risk women presented by Janice Abbott, Director of Atira Women’s Resources Society in Vancouver;
  • A provincial government program that successfully delivers a wide range of affordable housing presented by Shayne Ramsey, CEO of British Vancouver Housing;
  • Progressive architecture and urbanism in Europe presented by Nathalie De Vries from The Netherlands.

The Three Perspectives on Affordable Housing will be held at the Dulux Gallery, Melbourne School of Design on Tuesday 4 August, 11.00 am-12.30pm.