Strong Link between Vacant Land and Housing Affordability Crisis
Leader of the Green Party of Ontario, Canada, Frank de Jong today launched Earthsharing Australia’s ‘I Want To Live Here’ campaign. The campaign targets the under use of existing vacant land and will record statistics on the real vacancies of land, housing and apartments. Earthsharing Australia will lobby the government to encourage greater efficiency in the land market.
Mr de Jong said, “Vacant land is an avoidable tragedy in our cities and towns. It is not the shortage of land, but lots kept vacant by land speculation that increases the cost of housing.
Figures compiled by The Australian (26/02/07) show there are 155,500 vacant lots across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane zoned for residential development, enough for 8 years land supply.
“It is the private land supply withheld by speculators more than the public supply of land that needs to be addressed,” said Mr de Jong.
Bryan Kavanagh, Director of the Land Values Research Group (LVRG) and author of the recently released study on the social and economic costs of real estate bubbles ‘Unlocking the Riches of Oz’ said, “At this point, business and residential landlords need to ask, ‘Am I really using this property, or simply seeking capital gain – thereby pricing future generations of Australians out of home ownership?’”
“Any government concerned with climate change must address urban sprawl. We need an accurate inventory of available land and put it to best use, leaving land on the urban fringe to nature and agriculture,” said Mr de Jong.
Frank de Jong is touring Australia and New Zealand as part of the ‘Tools of Sustainability Tour’, from July 13th to August 3rd. For more information about the tour, contact Karl Fitzgerald, Earthsharing Australia on 03 9670 2754 or visit www.earthsharing.org.au