Topic: Urban Planning Law
Pages: 7, Double spaced
Order type: Essay
Style: Not specified
Language: English (U.S.)
Instructions All postgraduate students taking 7328Law (Advanced Urban Planning Law) are required to submit an individual research assignment. The word limit for the research assignment is 2,000 words. This assessment item work is a research essay that will require individual research and analysis.
The relevant marking criteria are:
Content: Main issues covered in appropriate depth; effective use of recommended further reading and research materials; persuasive arguments appropriately supported; orderly and logical progression through content (35 marks). Structure: Introduction; conclusions; appropriate use of paragraphs, headings and sub-headings etc; orderly and logical progression through content (2 marks).
Grammar, expression and appropriate referencing: Use of plain and clear language; grammar (spelling and sentence structure); appropriate referencing style; footnotes or endnotes; bibliography. (3 marks)
Essay Topic Question Compare and contrast governments’ laws, policies and strategies for promoting either – a) affordable housing including home ownership across two jurisdictions, including at least one from outside Australia and one within Australia. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the two systems you are comparing? Which system do you prefer and why? Give reasons for your answer.
Urban Planning Law
Affordable housing can be defined as housing which can be easily afforded by both the low and average income earners both in home ownership and private and public rentals. Affordable housing also means housing which is suitable to a household’s needs and that which is within their means in paying for it. When members of a specific household can be able to afford for their housing without any stress, this is considered to be affordable housing. The shortage of affordable housing places a strain on both the local economies and consumers. The consumers end up having arrears on their mortgage and are heavily in debt, this causes them to save less. This leads to a reduction in investment which in return lowers the economic growth of the country.
The demand for affordable housing in most countries seems to grow at a higher rate compared to the supply. Due to this, individuals who intend to buy houses turn to the renting market since houses are not affordable, in some instances; this has contributed to inability to own homes. There are various global factors which influence the supply and the demand for affordable housing. Some of these factors include; migration from rural areas to urban areas, increase in life expectancy, many people choosing to live alone, factors which are behavioral and demographic among others. In some countries and cities the market is unable to meet the demand of housing in their cities and countries.
There are various considerations which individuals look at in selecting their choice of housing. The employment rate is one of the factors, since the increase in the rate of unemployment results in the rise in demand for rental houses. The income of a household also influences the choice of housing. The income of households has not increased at the same rate with the cost of housing. Other factors that have influenced the choice of housing for individuals are the accessibility of mortgages and also the rates of interest.
The purpose of the study is to look into the various laws, policies and strategies which impact on housing affordability in Australia and also in America and also the strengths and weaknesses of these policies and laws.
Laws, Policies, and Strategies that Promote Affordable housing in Australia
There have been various challenges in the provision of affordable housing in Australia. Some of the challenges include limitations in the supply of land in some markets, the housing being undersupplied in some markets. Also, the increase in land taxes levied to land owners has contributed to the problem in housing affordability, especially in New South Wales. Due to these problems relating to affordable housing laws and policies have been developed to enable residents of Australia afford houses and also own homes. One of the policies that Australian government has developed together with Commonwealth is the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA). This agreement commenced on 1st January, 2009 and it is continuing. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all Australians are able to acquire affordable, secure housing by funding through the funds that the Commonwealth will give the Australian government. This policy aims at achieving several objectives, which include; ensuring that people are able to purchase housing. Another objective is ensuring those who are homeless or at the risk of becoming homeless get sustainable housing. The policy wants to make sure that people in Australia can rent housing which meets their specific needs. Also, that the indigenous people access housing amenities which are improved and are not overcrowded.
Laws, Policies, and Strategies that Promote Affordable housing in America
In America, most families cannot afford a home due to their low level of income and also the high cost of borrowing. An example is between the years 1985- 2000 for a person to purchase a home through mortgage they were expected to pay twenty one percent of what they earned as mortgage payment on a monthly basis. Due to this the government of the United States of America has established various policies, laws, and strategies in regard to housing affordability for the people especially those whose income is low. One of the policies is the Housing Tax Credit for Low Income which has been put in place by the government in the Tax Reform Act. The program helps in developing new and preserving the existing affordable houses by giving incentives to the developers, which include; loans which have low interest
In 1967 the United States enacted the Land Acquisition Act which enabled the government to obtain land at low cost for public use. This helped the federal government together with developers to provide affordable housing since the land was acquired at low cost by the developers.
The federal government in America in the 1970’s started a Housing Choice Voucher Program to address the housing needs for low-income households . The aim of this program is to provide safe and decent housing for these families for low income earners, the disabled and also the elderly. The administration of the vouchers is done by the local public housing agencies who receive get funds from the Housing and Urban Development department. The agencies pay subsidies directly to landlords for the families. The difference between the rent charged and the subsidized amount is paid by the family. In some instances the housing agencies may authorize a family to use the voucher in purchasing a home.
Comparison between the Strengths of affordable housing Laws in Australia and in America
In comparing the different laws, policies and strategies in Australia and America in relation to housing affordability the strengths and weaknesses of the laws and policies have been outlined below. Though the policies are many in both Australia and America the focus of the study on the laws in Australia will be on the National Affordable Housing Agreement and the Housing Choice Voucher Program in America.
In Australia, the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) has many merits among them being that by adopting NAHA housing became a crucial national agenda in Australia. Before the adoption of NAHA, the housing policy had been devolved to the low levels contributing to a decrease in accountability and coordination. Also, the National Affordable Housing Agreement has created a growth fund to help in social housing. The agreement has put its focus on remote housing for the indigenous people among them being the aborigines; this has helped in removing of overcrowding in the remote areas. In addition, the agreement has helped homeless people in Australia to acquire sustainable housing. . One of the Strategies whose purpose is to promote home ownership among the indigenous communities is the Aboriginal Home Ownership Scheme.
The Tax credit policy which deals with Low Income Housing in America can be compared to the National Affordable Housing Agreement. The credit policy has many advantages or strengths. One of them being; the rent burden of the recipients of the Low Income Housing Policy is lower compared to other families or household with the same income. The program has few requirements in relation to reporting which has made its administration simple.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program in America has many advantages including helping many families who earn low income to select the type of housing they want and also the location that they would prefer to live in. The recipient can select the house that fulfils the program’s stipulations and one is not restricted to the units situated in projects which have subsidized housing. Due to this most of the recipients of the program live in neighborhoods which are healthy. These neighborhoods offer the families living their opportunities for education for their children and employment for themselves.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program in Australia can be compared to the Rent assistance in Australia which refers to an allowance paid straight to the tenant and it is added to the other benefits like the disability and age pension. The rent assistance is given to tenants in living in private housing. The rent assistance helps low income earners by giving them additional income
Comparison between the Weaknesses of affordable housing laws in Australia and in America
Some of the weaknesses of NAHA include; the general purpose of NAHA policy in Australia is that it is not clear whether its objective is to provide new housing supply or subsidize the existing housing supply. Another weakness is that this agreement does not have wider policies and programs that relate to taxation and planning which have an influence on housing affordability. This is a concern to those states where changes made to planning or taxation affects the affordability of housing.
Housing Choice Voucher Program in America has several weaknesses which include; not all the households who get the vouchers can find suitable housing to live in. This is because there is a shortage of rental housing of average cost, also there are landlords who refuse to accept vouchers. Discrimination along ethnic and racial lines contributes to the ineffectiveness of the program since the whites’ recipients of the vouchers tend to have more choice in residential mobility compared to the minority. The federal government also give little funding to this program, due to this there is need for some reforms to be made in the program.In comparison to the Housing Choice Voucher Program in America the Rent Assistance program in Australia is also discriminatory in that, low- income household who have no children do not receive the assistance. While households who earn higher income who get Tax Benefit for families receive the Rent Assistance. This has brought the need for the reform of the Rent Assistance Program.
In comparing the systems in Australia and America in regard to housing affordability, the system in America seems more preferable. An example of a policy that has promoted affordable housing in America is the credit policy which deals with Low Income Housing which has helped in developing millions of homes in America. The United States federal government has also involved private investors in the development of housing which is low cost.
In Australia, the housing affordability has been deteriorating due to bad social policies. Also, there is also no proper planning in the local levels an example being the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 in New South Wales which needs reforms. The Act does not allow participation of the community in the planning of the construction of the housing. The government of Australia has not been fully involved in the providing affordable housing unlike in the United States the federal government works with the local government in providing housing which is affordable and also enabling people to own homes.
Alexander, Theadora. Carribean home economics in action. Oxford: Heinemann, 2002
Affordability and the supply of housing: third report of Session 2005-06. London Stationery Office, 2006.
Association, Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, 2014.
Bernstein, Mark. Rebuilding housing along the Mississippi Coast: ideas for ensuring an adequate supply of affordable housing. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corp, 2006.
Buron, Larry et al. 2000. Assessment of Economic and Social Characteristics of LIHTC Residents and Neighborhoods, Cambridge, Mass: Abt: Associate.
Carson, Edgar, and Lorraine Kerr. Australian social policy and the human services. Cambridge Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press, 2017.
Carswell, Andrew T. The encyclopedia of housing. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications, 2012.
Concover, Richard F., and James E. Piles. Housing choice voucher program. New York: Nova Science, 2013.
Gilmour, Tony, Edward J. Blakely, and Rafael E. Pizarro. Dialogues in urban planning: towards sustainable regions. Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2008.
Gurran, Nicole. Australian urban land use planning: principles, systems and practice. Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2011.
Publication, Usa. Doing business and investing in Saint Vincent and. Place of publication not identified: Intl Business Pubs Usa, 2009.
Reeves, Paul. Affordable and social housing: policy and practice. New York: Routledge, 2014.
Read, Peter. Settlement: a history of Australian indigenous housing. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, 2000.
Shelburne, Mark. Beginner’s guide to the housing credit. Chicago, Illinois: American Bar.
Silverman, Robert M., and Kelly l. Patterson. Fair and affordable hosuing in the U.S.; trends, outcomes, future directions. Leiden Boston: Brill, 2011.
The Battle against Exclusion Social Assistance in Australia, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Paris: OECD Pub, 19998.
Tighe, J R., and Elizabaeth J. Mueller. The affordable housing reader. London New York: Routledge, 2013.
Tomlinson, Richard. Australia’s unintended cities: the impact of housing on urban development. Collingwood, Vic: CSIRO Pub, 2012.
The N.S.W. Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979: a guide for local government. Sydney: Dept. of environmental and planning, 1987.
Thompson , Susan, and Paul J. Maginn. Planning Australia: an overview of urban and regional planning. Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Tomlison, Richard. Australia’s unintended cities: the impact of housing on urban development. Collingwood, Vic: CSIRO Pub, 2012.
Thomas, Ian. Environmental management processes and practices in Australia. Annandale, N.S.W: Federation Press, 2005.
Weicher, John C. Housing policy at a crossroad: the why, how, and who of assistance programs. Washington, D.C: AEI Press, 2012.