More than 70 leading government, academic, and industry experts tackled one of the country’s biggest problems at the 2017 Australian Social and Affordable Housing Symposium.

Held in Brisbane, participantsexamined the social, political and economic challenges amid increased calls to ease the burden of ‘housing stress’; particularly for low-income households.

The Australian Council of Social Services estimates more than a million lower income households are paying housing costs exceeding 30 per cent of their income, and more than 100,000 Australians are homeless.

Stefen MacAskill, one of the Griffith University organisers, said the event provided an excellent opportunity to connect those in the industry to discuss ideas, research, and proposed solutions from a variety of angles.
“It was a successful and very informative event on the latest developments in the space,” he said.

“The success of the symposium reaffirms the strength of the ongoing partnership between the Griffith Business School and industry to tackle real world and urgent issues such as housing affordability and social housing.”

The Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, delivered the keynote address.

He told symposium participants, it wasn’t hard to understand why home ownership in Australia was at a 60-year-low.

“For some Sydney-siders, particularly electorates around the CBD – and I happen to represent one of those – housing affordability has become more topical than the weather, the surf and coffee combined,” he said.

“Many people, particularly young couples, fear they will just never be able to afford their own home and live in a community they grew up in.”

The discussion during the symposium centered around four major themes — cities, measurement of outcomes, finance, and production and procurement.

The event was organised by Griffith University’s Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, in collaboration with the National Affordable Housing Consortium and Sustainable living Infrastructure Consortium.