More than a million lower-income households in Australia pay above the affordability benchmark for their housing costs. More than 100,000 people are homeless. Seventy per cent of us are concerned we’ll never own property. Yet owning a home is still seen by most Australians as an essential part of our way of life.
It is generally accepted that Australia is in the grip of a housing crisis. But we are divided—along class, generational and political lines—about what to do about it. Award-winning journalist Peter Mares draws on academic research, statistical data and personal interviews to create a clear picture of Australia’s housing problems and to offer practical solutions.
Expertly informed and eminently readable, No Place Like Home cuts through the noise and asks the common-sense questions about why we do housing the way we do, and what the alternatives might be.
Peter Mares is an independent writer and researcher. He is a contributing editor with the online magazine Inside Story and a senior moderator with The Cranlana Programme. Peter was a broadcaster with the ABC for twenty-five years, serving as a foreign correspondent based in Hanoi and presenting national radio programs. He is the author of the award-winning Borderline: Australia’s Response to Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the Wake of the Tampa. His 2016 book Not Quite Australian: How Temporary Migration Is Changing the Nation was shortlisted in the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards.
‘Peter Mares gives a lucid overview of Australia’s housing crisis…This book offers a timely discussion of an increasingly urgent and complex problem. Accessible and sympathetic, No Place Like Home should kick off some serious policy debates and will appeal to the general reader.’ Books + Publishing
‘One of the most important books published in Australia in 2016. An impressive account of one of the biggest scandals in contemporary Australia; how we’ve sleepwalked into a policy environment that encourages the systemic exploitation of an underclass of millions of temporary migrants in our country.’ Tim Watts on Not Quite Australian
‘Measured and compassionate...Mares writes simply and clearly about complex issues and policies, and avoids the sensationalism and bombast with which they are frequently handled in the media.’ Australian
‘No Place Like Home doesn’t just crunch numbers convincingly. It shows us, through the compelling stories of people affected by the housing crisis, how the whole fabric of our society is threatened if we cannot fairly address this fundamental human need for shelter.’ Age
‘Mares is indefatigable in his data gathering and scrupulously even-handed in weighing the evidence. He strikes an exquisite balance between the personal and scholarly, the humane and tough-mindedness. Not Quite Australian is big-picture storytelling with a pulse, always keeping ideals, blunt realities and people—the exposed who want a place and the lucky ones entrenched here—in the frame.’ Australian on Not Quite Australian
‘Compellingly readable…[Mares’] research is comprehensive, intellectually deft, ethically and philosophically grounded – but digestible, and personally attested…This is on-the-ground, people-focused journalism of the highest kind.’ Sydney Morning Herald on Not Quite Australian
‘Mares has once again presented a controversial and complicated topic with clarity and humanity. At a time when a national conversation about what it means to be Australian (or unAustralian) seems daily social media fodder, Not Quite Australian is an important contribution. And a reminder of the importance of thorough, slow-burn journalism in the hot-takes age.’ Big Issue on Not Quite Australian
‘This detailed, careful and topical book is illuminated by the personal stories of individuals and families caught up in a complex and bureaucratic system, and it leaves a lasting impression of an Australia that is becoming a two-tiered country…Powerful and persuasiive.’ Overland on Not Quite Australian
‘This book is one which should be read by policymakers and concerned citizens alike.’ Spectator on Not Quite Australian