Futures analysis has been little used to inform housing policy debate, despite the fact that historical precedent is becoming increasingly limited as a guide for policy direction. This paper examines the potential utility of 'strategic foresight' in considering possible housing futures for Australia. It examines the particular foresight methods employed, and processes used, to develop possible housing futures in the year 2025 and their policy implications. The paper concludes that foresight analysis, although not without its problems, creates the opportunity to move beyond current thinking and 'path dependent' policy parameters, enabling discussion of housing futures in a way that prompts critical discussion of the institutional arrangements and policies that shape housing policy in the present.
This project was funded by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Ltd. (AHURI), an independent, non-political, national research institute which receives funding from the Australian, state and territory governments to carry out a program of research into housing and urban development. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors, not those of AHURI or its funders.