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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Regional Victoria, Qld and NSW rental squeeze indicative of lower paid workers’ concerns

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A new analysis of rental vacancies rates in regional Victoria, Queensland and NSW shows tenants living in regional areas across the state are most vulnerable to rent increases, as landlords look to recoup the cost of rising interest rates.

Everybody’s Home — the national campaign for real housing solutions — has analysed and ranked rental data from SQM.

The five regions impacted most by the two states’ rental crisis show rental vacancy rates well below 1 per cent at the same time rents have increased between 6-14 per cent.

Everybody’s Home spokesperson, Kate Colvin, said as mortgage interest rates doubled many landlords would seek to pass the cost on to tenants.

“Renters are in for a seriously difficult time as landlords capitalise on historically low vacancy rates to shift the rising cost of interest rates on to their tenants,” Colvin said.

“While the Victorian State Government has invested in social housing, we will only start to see significant change once we see a significant promise from the Federal Government as well.

Colvin said that after a decade of inaction on social and affordable housing from the previous Commonwealth Government, the nation is ‘really in a perfect storm’.

“There are limited options for people who can’t afford to buy but want to stay in their local community,” she said.

“Just because you rent, doesn’t mean you haven’t established deep roots in a community.

Renters on low and modest incomes work in the local shops and aged care services, she said.

“They have kids in local schools, are members of sports clubs, and attend local churches. They deserve the same stability as everyone else.

“We need to start planning for more social and affordable houses now.

Colvin said a dip in construction starts is forecast for next year, and that provides a great opportunity for the Federal Government to ‘swing in and take up the slack in the industry’.

“The bitter fruit of a decade of housing neglect is with us now and is being unfairly forced on low income renters.

“This problem will only get worse if we fail to act.”

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