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Your views: on a housing crisis and more

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on a growing accommodation shortage, new housing design and an enigmatic sculptor.

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Commenting on the opinion piece: Finding shelter from an unfolding social disaster

Shipping containers, caravans and other temporary lodging has its place. The clue is in the name: temporary. It helps communities waiting for insurance companies and governments to respond to short term natural disasters.

It is emphatically not any kind of substitute for a housing policy.

We know the problems: home ownership rates are diving; rentals are unaffordable and over a third of public housing has been flogged off while we weren’t watching. The situation for our poorest citizens is dire.

We also know what needs to be done, because we’ve done it before. First step: build social housing. The Victorian government is putting in $5 billion to build 12,000 homes – why not SA? And we can change planning rules and provide incentives to encourage not-for-profits and other developers to build quality affordable rentals.  We can also get rid of tax policies that encourage tax dodging and house price inflation.

We remain one of the richest societies in human history. Making sure that all citizens have decent housing is not beyond us, but building slums of the future is not a solution.  Governments over recent decades have got away with saying that housing policy is ‘not their job’. They are wrong.  We need to tell them to get on with it and hold them to account. – Gregg Ryan

I love and applaud Alice Clarke’s relentless advocacy for the homelessness. However, I caution against temporary housing solutions for the homeless.

The nation is littered with temporary housing built when materials where in short supply and when we needed to house migrants quickly. And in most cities across Australia these houses remain, mostly owned now by private investors and in many cases rented beyond the  economic life of the building to those most disadvantaged.

Australia has the resources and the ability to house everyone in decent, secure and affordable housing. We just need the plan and the political commitment. I’m hopeful that the political tide has turned and that the current crisis can prove to be our ‘burning platform’ moment for real change. – Philip Fagan-Schmidt

Commenting on the story:$250m old Le Cornu site development revealed

The overall idea of mixed uses is promising. The terminology and tick-box list is impressive. But how really committed to ecologically responsible and people focussed planning and design is this project.

Why the ‘standard’ building forms, with their overuse of glass walls and glass fronted balconies? Are any of the windows double glazed and can they be screened from the summer sun? Are balconies wide enough to use and personalise – and why can’t balustrades allow plants to spill through and over?

Are there continuous arcaded walkways for both summer and winter comfort. These are the kinds of details that developers seem to shy away from but for many of us they are the very details that can attract us as potential buyers or deter us.

And what isn’t clear yet is the other most important issue and that is the spatial design of the apartments and townhouses. I know it’s very early in the process but perhaps we are all becoming more than a little sceptical of artists impressions! – Richard Atkinson

Commenting on the story: The monument man

Wow! What a story. It illustrates how we all have a place and purpose in this world.

We should all try to leave this world a better place, whatever our circumstances. – Philippa King

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