This research critically reviews how different emerging digital and disruptive technologies are being incorporated into the housing, housing assistance and planning systems.
It examines the technologies’ key features; limitations to practical use; risks to housing providers, policy makers and housing markets; and how they might lead to greater efficiencies and new opportunities across the housing sector.
Some of the technologies described in this research—blockchain, digital planning tools, automation—are at an early stage of development. The promise of some of these emerging technologies is that they have the potential to simplify the processes involved in siting, constructing, tenanting, selling and maintaining of properties in cases where that might not necessarily entail substantial regulatory change. These could include traditional governance functions like data registration and management; automating reference checking; access to property; and property or tenancy payments.
Two competing trends are emerging in relation to Australia’s housing and urban planning processes: one involves the centralising of data (often by governments and market processes), the other seeks to use distributed technologies that enact processes across a network without the need for central intermediaries.
Key issues for Australia are that while much work has been done in opening up property data assets across governments, significant work is required on data standards, privacy standards and data sharing across government, industry and the not-for profit sectors.