ACOSS report highlights need for urgent reforms to help renters in poverty

News | May 28, 2020

A new ACOSS report released today showing renters are twice as likely to live in poverty as homeowners highlights the urgent need to make housing reform a national priority as Australia rebuilds from COVID-19.

According to the report housing costs increase the rate of poverty among private renters by 10% (from 9% to 19%), compared to 5% (from 4% to 9%) among home-buyers and reduce them by 8% (from 17% to 9%) among people who own their home.

Public housing tenants are the most at risk of poverty, even after their housing is taken into account.

Hundreds of organisations behind the national Everybody’s Home Alliance, as well as construction peaks and unions are calling for the Government to kick off a major social and affordable housing investment package to create homes for Australians in rent stress, and construction jobs and apprenticeships.

Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson, Kate Colvin said high rents in the private market, unfair rental laws in many states, inadequate supports such as rent assistance and a chronic lack of social and affordable housing pointed to a broken housing system failing millions of Australians.

“Now as a result of COVID-19, renters and low income earners are in even more dire circumstances,” Ms Colvin said.

“More than a third of single mothers are living in poverty, raising their children with the threat of not being able to keep a roof over their heads.

“Housing reform must be a national priority – to kick start the economy for so many out of work, and to make sure that everybody has a safe, secure home that they can afford.”

Everybody’s Home is also calling for investment in 500,000 new social and affordable homes, stronger legal protections for renters to stop unfair evictions, increased income support for people in rent stress, and a national plan to end homelessness.

Media enquiries: Jenny Stokes 0478 504 280

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