SHELTER IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT. Yet for many people living in the lower-, and now even the middle-income bracket in Australia, this right is fast eroding away. The cost of purchasing or renting a place to live stands at an all-time high. Waiting lists for public housing are years long. Families, singles, and the elderly who are priced out of suitable accommodation are being forced to move into caravans, tents, and anything else they can find.

Australia's current crisis in affordable housing is one form of what's become a global challenge. In the United States, for example, the housing boom of the past several years led some home buyers to take on mortgage payments they couldn't afford down the road, and many of those families are losing their homes to foreclosures. Any challenge to a basic right demands solutions. So what can we do?

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