Housing affordability “crisis”

17 12 2007

Latte-sipping leftists are curious creatures. They fret about the lack of unaffordable housing in Melbourne with house prices in inner and middle suburbs sky-rocketing. The Age reports:

AUSTRALIA could have a shortage of 200,000 homes by 2010, exacerbating the housing affordability problem.

They also like to complain about the dreaded urban sprawl and horrific McMansions that distasteful working-class folks build. Here is The Age again going on about how urban sprawl is decimating endangered species:

The planning process is completely unsatisfactory and could well lead to population decline of these species to the point where they may be at risk of extinction.

Extinction! See, fat man, your big house is killing the planet!

Surely, in a predominantly single-story city like Melbourne one obvious solutions would be to increase the housing density. This is especially useful in inner-city suburbs where most professional and childless couples desire to live. Denser population in proximity to the city would allow them to live closer to work and have access to better services like public transport which should be good for the environment.

This should be a no brainier – just build taller apartment-style housing around the CBD. Right? Errr…. wrong. You see latte-sippers support denser housing in abstract principle when it applies to others (hopefully distasteful McMansion-building suburbanites). But whenever such developments are proposed in Melbourne’s cherished inner-city suburbs, they are often blocked by groups like Save Our Suburbs.

You see, climate change and environmental degradation are moral challenges and cannot be tackled in the honest way. Like saying: “we just want to keep our neat little streets for ourselves and screw you”. Instead organisations like SOS purport to “defend” or suburbs from greedy developers and “protect” Melbourne’s architectural heritage. It doesn’t matter that such organisations block actually necessary development and contribute to environmental problems caused by urban sprawl. They have already figured that when it comes to saving the planet, it is fat suburbanites that should be made to make sacrifices while the enlightened inner-city folk should be free to keep their single story terrace houses.

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