- requirement of at least 33% of new development to be 'affordable' properties, rather than the current paltry 3% set by state governments — these higher rates are the norm in the UK and France
- PPP developments and partnerships sponsored by government on state, Crown and ex-Defence land – and involving more partnerships with SME construction firms than with big players, thus cutting out fat developer profits, and land speculation profiteering
- release of Defence, State and Crown lands for responsible, affordable, environmentally sustainable development, e.g. disused hospital sites, ADF bases, RTA land, empty land and so on, with price covenants on developments
- control and lowering of land costs where owned by the state or Federal governments, which have an arbitrary value anyhow, rather than selling off land willy-nilly to the highest bidder to plump up state and Federal coffers
- setting long-term price covenants on developed affordable properties under the above regimes, indexed only to CPI or median wage increases, and an at-cost-only allowance for any further renovation value added by owner-occupiers (as assessed by a valuer)
- boosting and improving the stock of both 'public' housing and 'social housing', i.e. cost-controlled housing as described above. Labor Ministers such as Mark Latham and Cherie Burton benefited from this sort of housing growing up, but it has been abandoned more recently due to eco-rat market principles infecting government.
- creation of leasehold titles to be held in perpetuity by government, with the intention of controlling the selling prices of properties developed on them, and to ensure responsible control is retained over the land — this may be an inferior approach to the above approaches
- bypassing/removal of real estate agents and associated advertising charges and hefty commissions in selling these properties, given that they will shift without the need for an agent, and that agents' fees contribute to the 'ratchet effect' in housing
- stamp duty and other transaction cost waivers on these properties, similar to NSW 'HomePlus' scheme for first home buyers
- levy a land tax on unused property in urban areas – this tax could be allocated at local government level, to be returned to cash-strapped Councils. The tax would serve as an inducement to sell up rather than hoard disused land and property, both on small and large scales — see the oligopoly of developers and use of land banking to control supply as yet another factor. Gough Whitlam showed courage and broke up this cartel in the 70s, today's Labor are too compromised to address the issue.
- streamlining approval processes with local Councils for new construction (this is one of the more minimal suggestions currently put forward by state and Federal governments, so that they can blame someone else for the problem)
- lobby Federal Government to stop negative gearing breaks and capital gains tax concessions for investors and implement workable incentives towards home ownership which do not go on to further inflate housing prices; or else the implementation of policy and legislation to offset existing destructive arrangements by the Federal Government. For instance, negative gearing breaks could be quarantined to apply only to rental incomes, not total personal income, as in the UK and the US.
- resumption of land if necessary, e.g. to unite two blocks with a small title between them, or to reclaim an unused or underused site from an unwilling vendor in the public interest. The non-negotiable offer of discounted prices to large vendors such as at the CUB brewery site at Ultimo, Sydney. They have profited enough from the drinking habits of the working class over nearly two centuries – it's time to put something back. It's interesting that the land at Kurnell was going to be 'resumed if necessary' for the now shelved desalination plant – very tough-talking stuff when it comes to projects like that, but nothing in housing? The RTA is always resuming land to put through new freeways, using its extensive powers.
- the passing of legislation and creation of taxes to control land prices and prevent capitalist boom/bust waves and discourage speculative activity in property, to 'nationalise' the sale and pricing of property to some extent, to curb and keep real estate agents in check in any number of ways with stiff penalties (including making inflationary and misrepresentative claims of unlimited capital growth to gullible purchasers, encouraging the creation of endless 'investment properties', REI media announcements to this effect) and banning unethical practices to allow for decent affordable owner-occupied housing. Allowing the sale of rental properties only for the use of itinerant workers, visitors, and overseas students, etc. (More decent and affordable accommodation needs to be created for overseas and local students also to reduce current apartment overcrowding problems – currently there are 2 and 3 bedroom apartments all over the city containing up to 10 overseas students.) Better inclusionary zoning and affordability measures around the capital cities to allow ordinary workers to live in the vicinity of their work, thus solving some of the transportation problems of the city and improving social capital.
- stop bun-fighting and buck-passing across the tiers of government, and take ownership of the problem at all levels. It's ludicrous to expect individual councils to manage housing affordability individually with limited powers and resources and with no holistic plan across the city and state, to say nothing of the pecuniary conflicts of interest which appear with monotonous regularity.
A price correction is needed, and governments must provide affordable places whether or not real estate prices in the open market crash in the next few months and coming years or not.
It appals me that governments instead are willing to attempt to profiteer from these inflated prices by selling prime land and taking excessive stamp duties at the top of an unsustainable capitalist price wave. And, as we know, the whole house of cards is now tumbling down starting with the collapse of mortgage derivatives in the US that fed credit into the rest of the OECD, with a credit freeze and the disappearance of billions in non-existent 'value' off assets and derivatives.