The Guardian • Issue #2061


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2061
Quill and ink .

Housing: a human right

Re: “The Housing Crisis
(Guardian #2059 3rd July 2023)

Dear comrade editor,

Thank you, Denis Doherty, for your insightful article on the housing crisis in Australia, especially the observation, “the private sector can never solve the crisis because it treats housing as a commodity, a source of profit, and not as a human right.”

How true, and very few sectors of Australian society would today argue it should be any other way. Certainly not the banks, the real estate developers, the construction companies, and the Australian Labor Party with its Housing Australia Future Fund, which predicates the provision of housing from this fund on the operation of capitalism itself. As if capitalism could solve the problem, when it is the problem

I am reminded that the Australian way is hardly about a fair go but rather a verse from a song from Australian band AC/DC, “Dog Eat Dog”: “See the blind man on the street, looking for something for free, a kind man asks his friends, ‘Hey, what’s in it for me?’ ” In this way many Australians can excuse themselves for thinking of housing only in terms of investments, negative gearing, and charging rents on the basis whatever the market will support – what’s in it for me?  Rather than, as Denis points out, “Housing provides safety, emotional stability, improved physical and mental health, and a better chance of employment – it is a human right.”

All Australians need to change the way they view housing and this needs to inform our governments, who need to be a major players in the provision of housing to the extent it brings down the cost of housing and renting and makes it available to all Australians.

Thank you.

In unity,

Richard Titelius

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