We’re very proud to announce that Greater Canberra, YIMBY Melbourne and Sydney YIMBY have formed the Abundant Housing Network Australia, a national alliance dedicated to pursuing housing abundance and better cities across Australia!

AHNA will help pro-housing activists to grow our movement across the country, and to push for reforms on a national level. Our first announcement is our joint submission to the Senate inquiry into the rental crisis, which outlines our plan for a national pro-housing policy agenda. You can find our media release below.

Media Release: How housing abundance improves renters’ bargaining power in the housing market

The Abundant Housing Network Australia, a new national alliance working to build a more sustainable, liveable and affordable vision for housing and cities, launched today with the release of their submission to the Senate rental crisis inquiry.

AHNA believes housing abundance—building more homes where people want to live—is key to solving the housing crisis and building the kind of cities people love.

AHNA, whose founding member organisations are Greater Canberra, YIMBY Melbourne and Sydney YIMBY, chose this inquiry to launch because of the impact low vacancy rates and the lack of appropriate housing supply have on rental affordability.

Many of AHNA’s members are renters and have experienced the rental crisis first hand—joining dozens of other desperate renters jostling to secure whatever rentals are available, whatever the price.

Low vacancy rates in the private and public rental systems as well as sluggish development, especially in areas of high amenity, are the key drivers behind the current crisis in rental affordability—and that the solution lies in building more, denser housing of every type and tenure in those places people actually want to live.

To navigate out of the rental affordability crisis, AHNA outlines a vision for greater coordination on housing, planning and infrastructure between the Commonwealth, state, territory and local governments.

A pro-housing policy agenda—combined with broader regulatory levers that improve renters rights and urban infrastructure—will greatly increase renters’ bargaining power. This week’s National Cabinet announcement shows there’s momentum for a pro-housing reform agenda in Australia.

While there is room for more ambition—especially on renters rights and public and social housing—these planning reforms and upzoning incentives are exactly the kind of changes we need to unlock new housing supply in our inner cities, reduce housing costs and remove unnecessary regulation for public and private developments alike.

AHNA’s full submission—covering housing policy coordination, planning reforms, public and social housing, social and transport infrastructure, and rental regulation—can be found on their website at https://abundanthousing.org.au/rental_inquiry.pdf.

Quotes attributable to Jonathan O’Brien, renter and Abundant Housing Network Australia spokesperson:

“The only way out of this crisis is to build way more private, public and social homes where people want to live. We need supply to far outstrip demand, every year, forever.”

“We want a housing system where everyone—no matter their job, income, wealth or background—can afford to live where they want.”

“To solve this crisis, we need to make sure our policy settings, whether that’s tax, rental regulation, planning restrictions or public investment, are all aligned to deliver the most housing possible.”

Who are Abundant Housing Network Australia

The Abundant Housing Network Australia is a national alliance of independent, grassroots campaigners working to build a new vision for housing and cities—one that’s more sustainable, liveable and affordable for everyone.

Our members came together in 2023 to forge a new urbanist politics that brings together renters, homeowners, planners, transport advocates and all lovers of cities.

We represent thousands of people across Australia who want to see their cities grow and mature, who want secure and affordable rentals and who want to live near their families, friends and communities — but who feel drowned out by a debate dominated by a few loud voices.

We believe housing abundance—building more homes where people want to live—is key to solving the housing crisis and building the kind of cities people love.

Abundance gives everyone greater choice in where they live, gives renters better bargaining power, encourages better use of public infrastructure, and is more environmentally sustainable than sprawl.

AHNA’s founding member organisations are Greater Canberra, YIMBY Melbourne and Sydney YIMBY — and AHNA wants to support grassroots urbanists in other major cities to start their own member organisations.

Media contact: Jonathan O’Brien, [email protected]. Local media spokespeople are available from our member organisations in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney on request.