The missing middle that could help fix the housing crisis 

08 January 2024

Exterior of housing at South Hobart Co-housing Co-operative project - photo by Hugh Johnson
Exterior of housing at South Hobart Co-housing Co-operative project. Photo by Hugh Johnson.

“The down payment for housing security for Linda Seaborn was just $1. That was not in the very distant past. Nor was it for a spot in a rustic commune in the bush. Seaborn paid $1 for a townhouse in suburban Hobart in 1999. She moved in the following year and still lives there today.

Seaborn lives in a housing co-operative. While common in cities such as Zurich and New York, they make up a vanishingly small proportion of housing in Australia.

Co-operative housing is the missing middle in Australia’s property landscape, and those who work in the emerging local industry argue it should be harnessed by state and federal governments to help solve the country’s housing crisis.

“The security of housing co-ops gives people a secure and stable old age [and] retirement,” Linda Seaborn says.

Read Rachel Clun’s article, The missing middle that could help fix the housing crisis, in the Sydney Morning Herald, 5 January 2024 (paywall).


BCCM study tour of European housing co-operative sectors: 8–18 April

Explore the world’s largest co-op housing markets for answers to the Australian housing crisis on the 2024 BCCM European Co-op Housing Tour. Join the BCCM’s intimate learning experience, suitable for key decision makers with an interest in addressing the current housing crisis, including: elected representatives and senior policymakers at all levels of government; philanthropic and community foundation representatives; superannuation executives; co-operative housing bodies; mutual housing lenders; and other co-ops and mutuals. Book your place today.

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