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Friday, December 1, 2023

Urgent call for social and affordable housing to stem sharp rental surge

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New data from CoreLogic shows rents are surging at an unsustainable rate, prompting calls from Everybody’s Home, a campaign for a better, fairer housing system for all, for a significant expansion of social and affordable housing.

The data released today shows annual rents had the fastest growth since 2008, climbing 1.9 per cent in the September quarter to post annual growth of 8.9 per cent.

The sharpest increases were in regional areas, which spiked by 12.5 per cent overall.

In metropolitan areas, Perth was up 14.5 per cent, Hobart by 12.8 per cent and Darwin by 20.9 per cent.

Brisbane increased 9.7 per cent, Adelaide 8.3 per cent and Canberra 9.6 per cent.

Many households on low and modest incomes have suffered a double whammy of weaker income and higher rental costs.

Everybody’s Home national spokesperson, Kate Colvin

Sydney and Melbourne were in lockdown for part of the period in question, but still increased by 7.2 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively.

According to Everybody’s Home national spokesperson, Kate Colvin, an ever increasing number of workers in industries such as aged care, hospitality and other essential industries are paying between a third and half of their income for basic housing.

“These rent increases are eyewatering,” she said.

“They come as many people had their income and job security smashed.

“Many households on low and modest incomes have suffered a double whammy of weaker income and higher rental costs.

“It’s not as if buying provides an escape route from rent – house prices have surged even further.

“Big banks are now projecting a year on year price increase of 22 per cent.

Colvin said housing should be a basic right in any society, but especially a wealthy advanced one like Australia.

“It’s essential to looking after our health, caring for family and earning an income.

“Yet these figures show that for many, getting and keeping a house is becoming a brutal survival of the fittest.

She said expanding social and affordable housing is the best way to tackle this problem.

“Giving people on low and modest incomes greater housing choice will release a major pressure valve.

“Australia can and must do better.”

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