The Shaping Futures project has explored the conventional housing policy narratives that have dominated government thinking
in Australia, Britain and Canada (the ABC countries) over the past 20-30 years.
It sought to construct more effective, progressive policy narratives robust enough to thrive within the tough competitive environments that prevail within public policymaking and budgetary processes. Each of the three Shaping Futures nations faces unique housing challenges but also share common problems:
- Volatile housing markets where long-run price inflation has contributed to unusually high levels of private debt.
- Falling home ownership rates among younger adult cohorts.
- Rising rates of homelessness and housing stress exacerbated by inadequate public investment in affordable housing.
The report contains ten principles for housing policy and tax reform intended to provide a coherent framework for reforming housing policies.
The policy proposals reflect the need for an enduring framework of consensual approaches that form a path towards better performing housing systems in all three countries. Ignoring this progressive path would risk unacceptable costs in lost productivity, increased inequality and environmental degradation.
Key messages from Changing the Housing Story
- Despite visible and worsening housing problems apparent in all three countries – Australia, Britain and Canada – housing
policy has been downgraded and housing policymaking capacity badly eroded.
- There is increasing recognition that post-1980s housing policy orthodoxies and their underlying narratives are no longer fit for purpose.
- System-wide analysis of complex housing markets is essential in formulating evidence-informed policy solutions.
- We need to construct a new story that places economic productivity and the effective management of pressured metropolitan markets at the heart of a re-energised housing policy.
Read the report
- Shaping Futures Changing the Housing Story – Summary report (PDF)
- Shaping Futures Changing the Housing Story full report (PDF)
Download each chapter
- Changing the Housing Story Chapter 1 – Introduction Shaping Futures for Housing: Routes to Change(PDF)
- Changing the Housing Story Chapter 2 – The ‘housing story’: An Australian Perspective (PDF)
- Changing the Housing Story Chapter 3 -The UK Housing Story:A Changing Frame of Reference? (PDF)
- Changing the Housing Story Chapter 4 – Canada’s Housing Story (PDF)
- Changing the Housing Story Chapter 5 – Learning from Contrasts and Commonalities in Housing Policy Narratives: Australia, Canada and the UK (PDF)
- Changing the Housing Story Chapter 6 – Metropolitan Growth and Shaping Future Housing Policies (PDF)
- Changing the Housing Story Chapter 7 – Private Renting (PDF)
- Changing the Housing Story Chapter 8 – Finance and Shaping the Future of Affordable Housing (PDF)
- Changing the Housing Story Chapter 9 – Business Diversification for Not-for-profit Housing Providers (PDF)
- Changing the Housing Story Chapter 10 – Modern Institutions and Governance (PDF)
- Changing the Housing Story Chapter 11 – Telling Stories:Shaping Future Economic Narratives for Housing Policies (PDF)
- Changing the Housing Story Chapter 12 – Conclusions: Shaping Futures: Towards Real Housing Policies (PDF)
Join the debate
It is essential that local communities, non-profits, housing association boards and other key stakeholders reflect on and debate
the ideas, the evidence and the call for reform contained here.
We invite you to draw on the materials we use in the main report, in particular, the national housing stories for the UK, Canada and Australia and use these to frame discussions:
- Thinking of current and longer term problems in your housing market, can you list and prioritise the most serious facing your community?
- The current state of housing policies and practice in your jurisdiction. How much of a priority is housing and is this changing?
- What is your community’s consensus vision for future housing policies, what needs to be done to achieve this and what should be done first?
- How far do you agree with our proposed ten principles for reform? What would you change?
Please send us a summary of your discussions – Policy Scotland – and we can share them on this website.
- Professor Duncan Maclennan, University of Glasgow and Policy Scotland
- Professor Kenneth Gibb, University of Glasgow and the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE)
- Sharon Chisholm, honorary fellow, University of Glasgow
- Professor Hal Pawson, City Futures Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, Sydney
- Professor David Hulchanski, Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto
- Australia – Housing Choices Australia, Community Housing Ltd, Brisbane Housing Company and Bridge Housing.
- Britain – Places for People, Sanctuary, Aldwyck, Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Shelter, Scottish Futures Trust and Broadland Housing.
- Canada – Maytree Foundation and the City of Vancouver.
Housing policy reset is overdue, and not only in Australia – Article by report authors Professor Duncan Maclennan and Professor Hal Pawson.