Minute with Magnus

Magnus-whitespace_addedIt’s busy days! Here are some things that I’ve been doing and thinking about, mostly housing related.

  • I dropped in for a day at the Powerhousing Conference and was challenged by the obvious flow-on effect that the booming markets in Sydney and Melbourne have had on Hobart, now the least affordable in Australia if measured by income. With down-sizers, investors and AirBnBers snapping up Hobart properties, this has quickly pushed many of the locals out of the market and has seen a rapidly escalating problem of homelessness.
  • It’s now less than 2 years before we see the first of the 38,000 NRAS (National Rental Affordability Scheme) properties lost to the affordable housing sector. This scheme lasts for the first 10 years only of these properties’ lives. No scheme exists to replace any of these properties nor to build new ones at any meaningful scale, so the affordability crisis will likely continue to escalate. Three steps forward … 4 steps back …
  • I’ve taken a week off to paint my own ‘affordable housing’ – a secondary dwelling or granny flat for my daughter and son-in-law. Where else can you get a small house in Sydney for $150k? But why did the DA complete with 80-page flora and fauna report (in Parramatta LGA!!), transport plans and waste management plans take two years and about $20,000 before we even started to build? We appear to have the same process for a 55m2 granny flat as we do for a 10-storey unit block, but why?
  • I’m enjoying being part of the Parramatta Affordable Housing Action Team, one of 11 such teams established across Sydney to advocate for affordable housing and for civil society to work with local councils and state MPs. This is a strategic partnership between the Sydney Alliance and Vinnies. Please contact me or the Sydney Alliance if you wish to know more and to find your own local team.
  • In the midst of my busy-ness I’ve been taking my own mental health pills in the form of marathon training – aiming for the Blackmore’s Sydney Marathon on Sunday, 16 September. How do you stay sane in the midst of your busyness?