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Basic needs vs complex policy Dr Simon Emsley Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing 050411 FMRC.

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Presentation on theme: "Basic needs vs complex policy Dr Simon Emsley Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing 050411 FMRC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Basic needs vs complex policy Dr Simon Emsley Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

2 Basic needs/ complex policy Introduction Reflections on conducting community-based research around housing – what should we be talking to communities about; how should we be doing it? Examples where community-based research has worked to empower aspects of community Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

3 Housing is a basic need Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

4 Security – place – shelter – belonging – privacy (?) Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

5 Basic needs Health – Wellbeing – mental health Educational capacity Ability to participate (employment outcomes) Can be viewed either as a right or a means to greater social productivity Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

6 Needs not met for many 100,000 homeless 850,000 in housing stress Lower income families housing insecure Some suburbs show very high occupancy turnover (numbers new bonds in Auburn 40% of all households) Rising level person per dwelling since 2005 Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

7 Numbers of Bonds as percentage of number of total households AreaTotal Households Total Bonds Total dwellings September10 Quarter Bonds as percentage of total households Auburn20,1097,97940% Bankstown56,61810,75619% Baulkham Hills50,5007,87616% Blacktown88,30918,44121% Blue Mountains27,8485,15719% Camden15,8782,61516% Campbelltown47,2329,04319% Fairfield55,42812,46422% Hawkesbury20,6234,16120% Holroyd31,7309,95631% Liverpool51,59512,35324% Parramatta53,71817,68033% Penrith58,21013,19923% Wollondilly13,0541,77914% Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC Source. Local Govt Housing Kit Database. Feb 2011

8 Housing stress = housing costs/household income Housing inequity reflects income and wealth inequality, and therefore power relations in the community Advocating for housing equity should challenges established relations of class power Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

9 Complex policy Policies governing access to social housing Welfare transfers funding social housing (National Affordable Housing Agreement) National Rental Affordability Scheme incentives Taxation incentives (negative gearing, stamp duties etc) Planning incentives Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

10 Complex advocacy tasks Advocacy has tended to advance housing equity `under the radar NRAS – stimulating construction through targeted bonus to investment capital Value of market maintained – market failure Anti-renter policies maintained* qualify Should Commonwealth Rental Allowance be raised? (argument within Shelter on this) Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

11 Is complexity a means of naturalising housing inequity? Political complexities of advancing housing equity Reaction of vested interests – developers oppose affordable housing contribution; home owner lobby; dominant political position (market is class neutral) Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

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13 Council says no to Condell Park boarding house Canterbury Bankstown Express 30/3/11 by BIANCA MARTINS The site proposed for the boarding house at Simmat Ave, Condell Park. A DEVELOPMENT application to build a nine-room boarding house in Simmat Ave, Condell Park, was refused by Bankstown Council at last Tuesday nights meeting. The boarding house, which proposed to accommodate up to 18 people, was rejected by all councillors except for Max Parker. Critics said it was not in the public interest, was inconsistent with the character of the area and would have an adverse impact on amenities and traffic. A debate erupted between Cr Parker, who backed the proposal, and objectors Cr Allan Winterbottom and Cr Ian Stromborg. Its not a very wide street, Cr Winterbottom said. Theres a lot of traffic and its the only horse zone (Bankstown Trotting Club is nearby) in Bankstown. With only one car spot and 15 to 20 cars set to be there, its ridiculous. Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

14 Finding/giving housing need a voice Housing Affordability Rental Housing SEPP review Response 6.1 That the Department works with the boarding house industry, NSW Housing and other stakeholders, on ways to improve the communitys perception of the new boarding house model encouraged by AHSEPP Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

15 Community and class Community is not a unitary object with one set of interests Housing advocacy is partisan/class interested activity This aspect of housing advocacy has been undertheorised – is it possible to engage communities alienated from housing system without first thinking this through? Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

16 Past attempts to engage 1. Canterbury Child and Family Housing and Health Survey 2. Photovoice (SSWAHS) nutrition project 3. A Sense of Home (Fairfield Housing Taskforce proposed project) All these projects involve exploring positive feelings of participants to housing/health Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

17 Canterbury Child and Family Housing and Health Survey

18 Features of survey Focus: Health as a basic `non-housing outcome of good housing Family health interagency initiative – no extra resources Engaged bilingual service workers in survey development (consultation – training) Methodology/ethics oversight by UWS Attracted input from UWS and UNSW Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

19 Results 107 interviews – 20 fields Highlighted need for information around property inspection and other aspects of rental process Strong indication of community awareness of relationship between health/wellbeing and housing security/affordability Surprise – positive attitude towards area they were living in – due to social mix of community Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

20 Presentation of findings another opportunity Participants and interviews interested in findings Broader community interest Academic presentations on housing and health Launched by Mayor Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

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22 Longer term results Canterbury Housing working group continued (what is it doing now?) Canterbury Council more closely focussed on Affordable Housing issues May have contributed to Federal priorities (eg NRAS) in post election period Overcrowding/flats examined by Shelter NSW Review of property inspection information etc. Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

23 Photovoice project Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

24 What makes people feel special in your family? How do you make your family feel special? Krishan: My mother-in-law migrated from Fiji and we had a BBQ to welcome her, that shes part of the family now. She was helping and enjoying the BBQ. It made her feel very special. She lives with us: its three generations together. (Photovoice Project, SSWAHS)

25 Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC Sevy Atsalis: After I breastfeed the baby (Katerine), dad (John) spends quiet time with the baby while I feed the other four children. The book (Old Macdonalds Farm) is a favorite in our family – we received it in our Early Literacy project bag and John is whispering the rhyme to the baby. John travels a lot so quiet time without the TV is important.

26 Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC

27 A Sense of Home (Fairfield Housing Taskforce) Community artist and digital camera workshops Capturing text and photos for exhibition Focus on strengths – what makes your home good, what makes a home feel like a home? Long-run process attached to interagency Fairfield Council Cultural Grant Learn to listen: what communities are saying about housing FMRC


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