“[Today] the challenge is to address the disconnect between supply and occupancy. When there are three times as many empty houses as there are homeless people, we know the policy focus is just wrong. Government must do more than create millionaires via land re-zoning windfalls.” says Karl Fitzgerald, Prosper Australia’s Project Director.
The Leader newspaper reports there are more than 3000 vacant homes in Maroondah (Melbourne’s outer east) and these could house all 1800 on the public housing waiting list. How can this be… especially when many suffering domestic violence need alternative accommodation in order to escape?
82,724 properties lie vacant and unoccupied across Greater Melbourne, according to Prosper Australia’s 2015 Speculative Vacancies Report released 20 January 2016.
• 4.8% of Melbourne’s total housing stock vacant in 2014
• Up to 18.9% of investor owned property found vacant
• Speculative Vacancy rate has increased 28% since 2013
Karl Fitzgerald says current economic settings and the high costs of land cause entrepreneurs to stifle innovation. It encourages wealth creation at the expense of other Australians and:
“The incentive for property speculators to hold prime locations empty is affront to anyone locked out of housing.”
“A popular planning mechanism in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada, Inclusionary Zoning works by requiring new developments to incorporate a certain percentage of affordable housing options (ranging from 10-50%) to ensure opportunities for low income earners increase in line with housing supply.”
In Maroondah there are more than 650 people homeless every night and the uninhabited properties could theoretically house more than twice the number of households awaiting public housing.
Let’s straighten out this socially and economically damaging siutation.