During the week after next Community Housing Aotearoa, the peak body for community housing initiatives, will be having its national conference in Christchurch. If you are interested in attending any of the workshops let me know.
Housing in Vienna
In an article in the Guardian last week the author wrote about Vienna and that cities approach to housing:
In Vienna, the majority of the city’s population live in high-quality subsidised housing. It is a vision that Bevan would have recognised, in which nurses, teachers, office cleaners and factory workers all live in the same street, or block.
The city’s housing policy emerged in the 1920s, in the days of “red Vienna”, when the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) first took control of the city, and launched ambitious plans to provide good quality, affordable housing for all. It has largely succeeded. The quality and affordability of public housing has meant also that the private rented sector tends to be of good quality and relatively affordable.
The city spends more than €570m (£502m) a year on its housing, including building new homes, paid for largely with a 1% levy on the salaries of every Viennese resident. Elements of the model have been adopted by many other European cities, from Barcelona to Helsinki.
What good housing requires, as Vienna shows, is political vision and will.
The real question is not: why shouldn’t working-class people own their own homes? It should rather be: why should we not all have proper, decent housing? That costs money, and higher taxation. But it is not nearly as utopian as many imagine.
I found this approach inspiring. Here’s a link to the article: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/may/07/vision-of-property-owning-democracy-still-achievable-but-not-in-britain