I’ve rabbited on quite a bit about the growing housing crisis in this country and what it’s going to mean for the Houseless Generation – which this Tandberg cartoon from this morning’s Age (terrible shot with the phone camera, I do apologise: if anyone has a decent scan, please let me know) sums up beautifully:
We are fast approaching a situation where only the very top earners in the country, those who inherit property from their parents, or those whose parents are preared to give their offspring equity in their own homes, will be able to afford to live anywhere near a major city (or a railway line to a major city). Where housing is completely out of reach without a dependent relationship on someone who’s already part of the property-owning class. Where buying an average house on their own is simply no longer possible for any but the very top earners.
In the interests of helping them see a problem that would otherwise be largely invisible to them, I’ve tried to raise this point with those from the generations that could reasonably expect to own their own homes – do they really want to have to buy their kids a house in order to have any prospect of them finally leaving the nest? Do they really want their sons and daughters to still be living at home in their 30s? Surely that’s not an appealing prospect?
But maybe what Tandberg pictures is actually attractive to some of these people. Because a generation dependent on its parents for housing is a compliant, desperate generation. Rebellion? Insolence? They’d better not dare! Maybe the boomers have finally figured out how to leverage the control over their offspring that their parents utterly failed to have over them. The kids of today had better be nice to their folks, because the alternative is living in a cardboard box, in a swamp – at an exorbitant weekly rent.
Australian government housing policy: extending toxic parental dependency issues to its future citizens’ middle age.