Housing market impacts and housing policy responses – an international review

This report from the ACOSS/UNSW Sydney Poverty and Inequality Partnership shows that regional rents are now 18 per cent higher than two years ago, at the start of the COVID 19 pandemic.

With wages only rising by six per cent, the report concludes that regional rental housing affordability has significantly worsened during the public health crisis. Every Australian capital city and regional area has seen rent rises during this crisis period far in excess of wage increases or CPI-linked payment adjustment, with the exception of Sydney and Melbourne.

State-level figures show that the situation for regional renters in Tasmania and Western Australia is particularly difficult because of even larger housing cost increases.

International Focus

An international review compared the experiences of Australia and seven other case study countries – Canada, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, the UK and the US. It found that all followed similar paths in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing emergency income support, along with more direct housing and homelessness interventions.

Housing Policy Measures

Report lead author Professor Hal Pawson said: “Just as in most other countries in our study, Australia’s emergency income protection and also housing policy measures triggered by the pandemic went well beyond what anyone would have previously imagined,” he said.

“Just for a brief moment we had a tantalising glimpse of cities with street homelessness greatly reduced and a rental housing market where evictions were drastically cut. But since the experience has prompted virtually no permanent reforms of social security or rental housing regulation, governments appear to have resisted learning lessons from the episode.”


Click the image to read the COVID 19: Housing market impacts and housing policy responses – an international review report.