The dream of owning a home turns into a nightmare on Struggle Street
Welcome back to Yourour Friday dive into the letters and comments on what you have set as the topic of the week.
This week, readers voiced their concerns about the country’s severe housing problem, and many made suggestions for quick (and not-so-quick) fixes.
Is life like a monopoly game?
- We won’t achieve better housing outcomes for younger Australians until we stop planning “doing stupid things,” wrote independent economist Chris Richardson.
Max Australia – the lucky country? Where those who can’t afford a house (renters) subsidize those who can (landlords).
ghost of hitch We turned a basic need, a shelter, into a goods and profit center. Our tax system clearly encourages this. If you want to [build] Fine, but first eliminate the market distortions that make it far cheaper for an investor to buy a home than for an owner-occupier.
Al Kidder For people who like strangers, living in a densely populated area is fine.
Full_Bodied_Reds Life is like a monopoly game… See how many houses you can acquire while patching up your fellow players who don’t have any.
mitch It amuses me that the vast majority of cities in the world have a much higher population density than any other city in Australia. And every NIMBY seems to think it just won’t work here as the laws of physics work differently in Australia.
Coleridge Instead of destroying the neighborhoods where people (normal people, not mythically evil, selfish people) live and love, how about we try a few other things, starting with reducing immigration?
Adam Connolly Why do first-time home buyers expect to live in Sydney’s most desirable and expensive suburbs? Certainly, first-time homebuyers should expect to be able to afford the cheapest suburbs first. You can then trade over time.
anon Our cities continue to expand at a rapid rate, and governments cannot keep up with the cost of infrastructure to support these residential suburbs [they] end up being socially isolated. Yes, cheap housing, but you have to drive for hours to get to work or anything else.
Caleb Australia’s property and migration Ponzi schemes are linked. Business and government have no interest in a sustainable Australia and will turn our cities into absurdly expensive concrete jungles with no amenities full of serfs with stagnant wages.
Do city dwellers need to grow bigger elbows?
- Prime Minister Chris Minns warned that urban sprawl will prevent Sydney from becoming a leading global city and stressed that the key to creating a vibrant metropolis is construction – not expansion – wrote state policy editor Alexandra Smith.
Roger Kaputnik Yes, five or six stories, sure, but not those horrible high-rise buildings that block the light and create wind tunnels.
smoky Agree. Stop bush cutting and habitat destruction on the outskirts.
the nozzle Build sensible skyscrapers next to transport hubs.
Carlo Campanini Stop complaining and move on: move up or stack up.
telemaster The problem is that none of them are quality buildings and increasing the permits will not make them any better.
Another day Should Sydney become a cosmopolitan city like New York full of skyscrapers? A jungle of bricks and mortar.
optimist Family-friendly apartments with three or four bedrooms are in demand. We don’t solve the problem with one-room shoeboxes.
Cottonup We need high quality urban planning for high-rise buildings and not a standard approach seen in many areas of Sydney.
Craig Forbes, Lewisham We know all too well congested roads, congested public transport and overcrowded schools. Create a “lively, young metropolis”? I do not believe that. More like city dwellers who all need bigger elbows.
Elizabeth Vickers, Maroubra Minns is a father and should know that families with children have to live in houses with a garden. Don’t condemn Sydney’s children to the constraints of high-rise housing.
A bad situation, but can we turn back time?
- For too long the measure of success in Australia has been owning a home with a back yard and a Hills lift. But the Great Australian Dream is no longer about owning a house, it’s about being able to afford the rent, commented Alexandra Smith, state politics editor.
Alan Gibson, Cherrybrook The big Australian dream is now the nightmare on Struggle Street.
daisy blue The great Australian dream is about to fall off a cliff. The only way Minns can help is by building more homes, building them fast, and keeping them government owned.
nietzsche The notion of private property and a middle class was a recent and short-lived leap in time. We are currently returning to the social and wealth structures that have been the norm for most of history.
Living on the hot side of the latte line The post-war boom that drove all of this is long gone. No cheap and useful land left: the only way left is up. We all just have to get used to it. Unless you are rich enough to isolate yourself.
Mustafa Erem, Terrigal We can blame landlords for high rents, but we have to remember that for many landlords, higher rents are not enough to cover increased mortgage payments.
DJ Let me not start with the poor standard of all housing in NSW, be it houses, townhouses or flats. There must be appropriate standards, developed by architects and engineers without interference from the developers.
QED It’s a pretty bad situation that we are totally self-inflicted on and that we can easily undo. Easy as most of us know the causes, but very difficult as too many of us are mired in greed.
velvetath Get out west!
Is Sydney full?
- Prime Minister Chris Minns will order his ministers to urgently find vacant lots on public land to be repurposed for housing in a bid to get a grip on the state’s dwindling supply of new homes, wrote Sydney editor Michael Koziol.
optimist Plenty of North Shore space in quarter acre blocks!
hurdy-gurdy One word: decentralization.
ex-planner It is all well and good to “identify” land. But even with the planning system as it is, it’s still going to take five years to repurpose and two or three years for a DA to get through. It will be 10 years before anyone can move in.
pumpkin patch Build more dog crates. Watch as our standard of living continues to fall.
Bizarre And then what? You fill up the “empty” places and more people come. The utter futility of pushing more and more people into Sydney needs to be addressed. Sydney is full.
- You can join the discussion on smh.com.au in the comments section of each article, as well as in printed and online letters to the editor. I’ll see you next Friday. Your. sincerely, Pat Stringa, Letter Editor