Growth model fails us in more ways than we can count

Karl FitzgeraldCommentaryLeave a Comment

Creative Commons License photo credit: Creeper-Sleeper

Today we read that Australia’s boom era delivered 1000 more homeless people per year.

It is a grim picture of how homelessness has remained a serious social issue in Australia over the past decade despite good economic times,” one of the report’s authors, David MacKenzie, said.

“Since the global financial crisis, with rising unemployment and the high cost of housing, there will be further upward pressures.” The research compares figures taken at the 2001 census with 2006 surveys.

The report goes on to mention that there are 105,000 living rough. We found 18,070 vacant properties on City West Water’s books. City West Water accounts for 350,000 dwellings. Yarra Valley Water covers close to 860,000 dwellings.

If we assume a similar vacancy rate, YVW would have 44,401 vacant dwellings amongst it’s clients.

That adds up to a whopping 62,471 vacant dwellings, which at 2 people per dwelling gives us 124,942 people to live amongst all this wasted opportunity. “Access to what Australian Dream?” we hear you asking.

How do we get those dwellings onto the market? At present scarcity in land and housing breeds profit.

Our tax system prefers that the human right to a roof over our head is held hostage by the triumphant speculator. 34 year old guys living with their folks – no wonder!

Fundamental economic laws see that economic growth feeds into higher and higher land prices. Whilst the tax system penalises hard work but rewards speculative largesse, only the pensions of some will be funded. The disadvantaged will be turfed about like discards until their economic rights are respected. All humans should have a share to the modern day equivalent of the bounty of the land, the naturally increasing value of prime locations.

Until that happens, Melbourne’s Urban Grown Boundary will continue to expand, regardless of the need for greater density. Speculative sprawl starts with your own council ‘s rating system, rewarding the land banker with a 30% discount over and above the family home.

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