Rural local governance and housing: Local government as facilitator

Australia and New Zealand Regional Science Association International Inc. (ANZRSAI)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, 2021, 27, (1), pp. 4-25
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Housing affordability is an issue that affects all Australians, including those living in rural communities. Local governments in rural Australia are the most visible level of government for communities, and they are best placed to see first-hand the social and economic pressures that are impacting their communities. In this research, we consider the changing role of non-metropolitan local governments with respect to housing, and what it tells us about the state of Australia’s federal system. We examine the findings of a national survey of local government before exploring the challenges of rural local governance and access to affordable housing. We then show how one rural council facilitates a range of activities to address housing challenges, and then compare its actions with those of its neighbours. Overall, we find it is not common for rural local governments to take a proactive approach to affordable housing, and we discuss the ways in which rural councils can take a leadership role in addressing local issues of housing affordability.
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