Mapping Housing Affordability

Josh Greenstein

Mapping an issue like housing affordability, certain factors really stood out to me. Most importantly, this is an issue that affects every single Australian. How is one able to afford to live somewhere in Australia? The mapping exercise could’ve been done in 60 seconds by writing ‘EVERYONE’ on a piece of paper and calling it a day, but by breaking down the issue slowly, some interesting factors emerge. As you can see here, our first attempt at naming stakeholders in housing affordability seemed quite random and disconnected.

rough1

It involved my group mates and I going around in a circle naming things off the top of our head. When taking a step back and critiquing the answers we had randomly shouted out, it was interesting to see how we were able to almost categorise our stakeholders. There seems to be 4 groups that have some bearing on the issue of housing affordability. Those are the media, the government, individuals and the households themselves. After coming up with these categories, it helped focus my thought process and I was able to add a few more stakeholders to my original map. The map below shows each stakeholder in their respective category, with the size of the category title depending on the size of the category itself.

map_blog3

I know this seems like a rather pedestrian, stagnant attempt at a map – but it expresses the nature of the issue pretty well. Unlike the other issues for this course, housing affordability seems relatively black and white. All research and reporting on the issue is dealt with from a mathematical, purely factual approach. Sure, there might be some bias and journalistic license when explaining how dramatic the housing price landscape is at the present moment, but other than that it’s a fairly structured issue. Issues like refugees and gender equality deal with all sorts of media bias, powerful language and strong emotion – whereas housing affordability deals with hard numbers, facts and figures. It’s because of this that the stakeholders on the map are relatively isolated, i.e. not interconnected. After seeing this list of stakeholders and what the main stakeholder groups are (government and individuals) I would like to investigate either one of these subjects further as we progress throughout the course.