University Of Tasmania
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An exploration of Australian housing authorities' contemporary public housing management practice under financial duress

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posted on 2023-05-28, 12:53 authored by Gounder, SS
This research explores some of the challenges and responses of Australian State and Territory Housing Authorities' (STHAs) housing management practice at a time of tight budgetary constraint. This thesis draws upon applied policy and academic research that situates Australian housing within the context of neoliberal policymaking. Case studies of Tasmania and the Northern Territory, alongside semi-structured interviews with senior government housing executives provide key empirical evidence. The research reveals that STHAs financial duress is compounded through both revenue and expenditure arrangements, with many tenants in receipt of welfare payments funded by governments. Research evidence shows that in the absence a national government-funded housing strategy in Australia, STHAs under financial duress, continue to implement various response policies and strategies with notable differences between respective jurisdictions (some plausible explanations include legacy government housing policy initiatives, a case in point being Aboriginal housing provision). This study reveals existing public housing problems as being so large that STHAs, states and territories are unlikely to succeed alone‚ÄövÑvÆwithout a concerted national approach‚ÄövÑvÆregardless of how innovative individual STHAs policies and practices are. This study offers a critical perspective on key STHAs contemporary policies, highlighting significant limitations in form and practice, such as the way dwelling stock transfers may not be the 'panacea' for public housing systems. Governments remain best placed to intervene with long term upfront direct capital investments to meet the increasing demand for social and affordable housing. Such research findings have the potential to shed light on the outlook of current and future government-funded housing policy both in Australia and for similar nations overseas.


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