New solutions to old problems: housing affordability and access within Australia and New Zealand
During the 1970s and 1980s the Australian and New Zealand economies have been passing through a period of restructuring. This has had important impacts upon the housing sector, leading to rises in house and land prices, in interest rates, and therefore in the costs of house purchase. Under these conditions a new agenda of housing issues has appeared concerning the affordability of housing and the continued access of modest and lower income households to the dominant form of tenure, owner-occupation. The 1980s saw the election of Labour governments committed to action in the area of housing. However, somewhat paradoxically, both in Australia and in New Zealand the policies pursued have been those of deregulation to produce a more competitive financial market. To preserve access to housing, new mortgage schemes have been designed. Two such schemes, the Capital Loan Scheme of Victoria and New Zealand's Equity Share Scheme are evaluated in the paper to show the nature of the adopted policy-response. The article is concluded with the demonstration of the limitations of such policy-based solutions to what are macroeconomic problems which are produced by moving towards an economic and social policy shaped by market monetarism.
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