Businesses are increasingly struggling to find and retain workers who can afford to live within an acceptable commuting range, with a major new study warning a chronic lack of affordable housing is set to cost taxpayers $25 billion a year if nothing is done.
Some businesses have even taken matters into their own hands, offering the option of low-cost accommodation to lure workers unwilling to brave the long daily commute.
The study, by public policy consultants SGS Economics and Planning, found decades of under-investment had triggered a collapse in the proportion of the housing stock regarded as affordable.
Social housing – a catch-all phase covering public housing and other forms of subsidised or lower-cost housing – now makes up just 4 per cent of national housing stock, a record low, and down from 6 per cent in 1996.
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