Lost Property: The Challenge of Uncovering Residential Vacancy


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What if we have enough vacant properties to house the 80,000 people on Victoria’s public housing waiting list? If you believe housing is a human right, this talk is for you.

Renegade economist Karl Fitzgerald explains how the traditional methods of evaluating residential vacancy rates are inaccurate and favor investors. As director of advocacy at Prosper Australia, Karl produces a yearly ‘Speculative Vacancies Report’. Instead of relying on the traditional methods of determining vacancies, Karl and his group look at water consumption data to uncover unoccupied properties.

Dr. Kate Shaw is an urban geographer at the University of Melbourne. She will weigh in on the economic, social, and cultural factors and incentives that cause property to be hoarded, and what policies need to change to correct the situation. Data science officer Flavia Barar will discuss the challenges around obtaining data that shines a light on housing issues in Australia. Spatial data marketing and communications expert Emma Joughin will moderate this discussion on using data to uncover residential vacancy rates with the hopes of exposing the vacant residential properties that could house more Victorians

Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the people of the Eastern Kulin Nations as the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet. We pay our respects to the land, their ancestors and their elders—past, present and to the future.