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November 4, 2022 38 min

About Karl Fitzgerald - Economist and Director of Grounded

Welcome to The Room Xchange Podcast. I’m Ludwina Dautovic and today I have the pleasure of speaking with Karl Fitzgerald about Community Land Trusts.

Karl Fitzgerald is an economist specialising in land economics and works as the Director of Grounded - the Community Land Trust advocacy body. He led Prosper Australia's research for 18 years. He is also Treasurer of the Malmsbury Village Fayre, a volunteer with the local farmers market and loves making rhubarb amaro.

A message from our host - Ludwina Dautovic

This conversation took me by surprise. I first met Karl Fitzgerald at a recent Prosper event. I'd never heard of Prosper before or the idea that land could be leased to build upon. Call me naive, but with the entire conversation in the media being about home ownership in Australia, it's a little hard to imagine there is another way.

Karl and I go in depth about the process of Community Land Trusts. I used my lack of knowledge on the subject as a presupposition that the listeners might not have too much knowledge on it either.

I hope you enjoy this episode. I welcome your thoughts and opinions on our social media. All links are below.

"Society is so busy playing the monopoly board game that they can't see how they are being played by monopolists IRL" - Karl Fitzgerald

In this episode we discuss:

  • Rhubarb Amaro
  • How his brothers cot death led to the founding of the Sudden Infant Death Research Foundation which today is known as Red Nose Australia .
  • He discovered Georgism and got involved with Prosper Australia and helped build the company back up.  
  • Prosper Australia has been around since 1890 and was born out of an American economist called Henry George.
  • How Grounded is setting up Community Land Trusts to enable people to have access to affordable housing
  • Karl Fitzgerald produced a documentary called 'Real Estate 4 Ransom'
  • A CLT means that you only pay for the building of the house, not the land it's on so it massively reduces the cost of housing
  • Why are we experiencing a rental crisis?
  • When did affordable housing become a privilege and not a right?
  • We should be giving tax incentives to nurses and child care workers as opposed to land developers
  • 13.5m unused spare bedrooms in 10m homes across Australia - existing housing stock
  • We need to shift the conversation around how we can fix housing
  • There's also 1.1m vacant homes around Australia. To replace that stock would cost $650m
  • Charge higher rates for vacant homes - vacancy tax
  • Vacant land banks that are being held by investors
  • in 2022 Australian land prices increased by $994 billion!
  • Corporate renters will be the new housing trend

"If we share the benefits of location, location.... then we don't have the penal

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