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Policies that fail - words that succeed’: the politics of accessible housing in Australia


Ward, M and Jacobs, K, Policies that fail - words that succeed': the politics of accessible housing in Australia, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 76, (1) pp. 80-92. ISSN 0313-6647 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Institute of Public Administration Australia

DOI: doi:10.1111/1467-8500.12208


This paper seeks to contribute to the debate over the efficacy of voluntary agreements versus regulation, and uses a study of the Livable Housing Design initiative to deliver voluntarily new-built accessible housing in Australia. We first probe why regulation has become such a significant component of government policy making, and then ask why political campaigns focus on this issue as a strategy for reform. We refer to research by disability activists, which claims that the voluntary approach has failed and regulation is necessary. Amongst our conclusions are: (1) that the disjuncture between policy rhetoric and outcome can be attributed to the power of lobbyists, reliance on the private market to address inequality, and antipathy to regulatory enforcement; and (2) that there is a need for greater interrogation of the language deployed in policy texts to identify whether they are crafted to maintain the government’s legitimacy or to deliver purposeful change.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:voluntarism, regulation, accessible, housing, Australia
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Design
Research Field:Design not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Public services policy advice and analysis
UTAS Author:Jacobs, K (Professor Keith Jacobs)
ID Code:110821
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-08-16
Last Modified:2017-11-18

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