Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 455–472 | Cite as

Planning and affordable housing in Australia, New Zealand and England: common culture; different mechanisms

  • Patricia M. Austin
  • Nicole Gurran
  • Christine M. E. Whitehead
Policy and Practice


This paper compares approaches to planning and delivery of affordable housing across England, Australia and New Zealand. While all three nations began with a common starting point—early British town planning legislation—underlying differences in urban regulation, property rights and housing provision soon emerged. However, signs of convergence have lately re-appeared, as all three countries have responded to affordable housing shortages by exploring new strategies to boost supply through the planning system. In the tradition of comparative housing research, this paper examines these strategies in the context of each country’s particular historical, socio-cultural, governance and urban planning frameworks. Our analysis shows how differences in planning systems and approaches to housing assistance can delimit opportunities to secure new affordable homes, particularly in the context of increasing land values. Effective delivery of affordable housing through the planning system depends on consistent and enforceable policy articulation, government commitment, a mature affordable housing sector, and particular market conditions.


Affordable housing Comparative housing research Inclusionary zoning Land use planning Value capture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia M. Austin
    • 1
  • Nicole Gurran
    • 2
  • Christine M. E. Whitehead
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Architecture and Planning, NICAIUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Urban and Regional Planning Program, Faculty of Architecture Design and PlanningUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning ResearchUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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