THE current public discussion taking place around housing affordability highlights a huge and growing problem for thousands of Australian households, according to the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA).
UDIA National President Cameron Shephard said that governments at all levels needed to stop blaming each other, and start taking cooperative action to address growing affordability pressures.
"Rapid increases in the cost of housing over the last few decades have greatly outstripped increases in income, putting not only low income and vulnerable households, but also a growing number of middle income households under tremendous financial strain," Mr Shephard said.
"We're now getting to the stage where the great Australian dream of home ownership through hard work is becoming just that, only a dream, for far too many Australians.
"The simple fact is that for many years the supply of new housing across Australia's major cities has failed to keep up with increases in demand, which has put sustained upward pressure on housing prices."
Mr Shephard called on government to take action to address what he said are the root causes of poor housing affordability and insufficient housing supply, such as high and inefficient taxes and charges on new housing, inadequate investment in urban infrastructure, and unnecessary regulation and planning red tape.
"By addressing these core barriers to new housing supply, governments can take pressure off house prices, improve affordability, and help drive jobs and growth in the Australian economy," he said.
"It's time for both the Federal Government and state governments to stop trying to pass the buck, and start working together to improve the supply of new housing."