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A housing nightmare shines a light on lax regulation of building practices

A housing nightmare shines a light on lax regulation of building practices. “The Builders Collective's Mr. Dwyer says the authority's lack of action was typical. ‘Combined with privatisation of building surveyors, regulators in this industry do everything they can to avoid regulating. And yet these same bureaucrats keep informing the minister of the day that everything is OK,’ he said.”

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

More than two decades after military housing was privatized, and the results are in

More than two decades after military housing was privatized, and the results are in. “’This is disgusting:’ Lawmakers blast companies overseeing military homes racked by toxic dangers.” By now 99% of housing is privately-run, “widening the accountability gap between families and commanders. Corvias, which stands to make $1 billion, said it was ‘sorry’ the way the privatization model eroded quality for profits.”

Source: Twitter

'Unauthorised': Privatised NSW land titles registry hiked fees by 1900 per cent

Despite advance warnings that privatization would lead to the price gouging of the Australian public, the private operator of the New South Wales Land Title Registry “surreptitiously hiked some fees by 1900 per cent before it was caught and forced to amend them.” In the lead-up to the privatization, “surveyors and developers said they feared the cost of a property transaction would rise. In one recent example, homebuyers and sellers now have to go through a licensed broker to conduct a land titles search. They now have to pay, in some cases, triple the price for the same information.”

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Diversifying Public Ownership. Constructing Institutions for Participation, Social Empowerment and Democratic Control (by Andrew Cumbers)

This paper advocates a form of economic democracy based around diverse forms of public ownership. It does not prioritize one particular scale but recognizes the importance of decentralized forms of public ownership, to encourage greater public participation and engagement, mixed with higher level state ownership, for strategic sectors and planning for key public policy goals (e.g. tackling climate change). It takes a deliberately pluralistic definition of public ownership, recognizing both state ownership and the role that cooperatives and employee ownership could play in a more democratic economy.