New data shows that 39% of renters in the Federal electorate of Gilmore are struggling in housing they can’t afford, making it the 16th worst electorate in the country and the 11th in NSW for rates of rental stress.
The University of NSW analysis for national housing campaign, Everybody’s Home shows that that the rate of rental stress in Gilmore is among the highest in Australia, and in the state.
The seat-by-seat analysis compares rents and incomes across electorates to identify the number of households in rental stress.
National Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson, Kate Colvin said the analysis showed where renters in NSW are doing it hardest, with 5,724 of the electorate’s 14,700 renters in Gilmore in rental stress and 478 people in Gilmore homeless.
Ms Colvin said that “underinvestment in social housing, increasing rents and low wage growth mean that low income earners, and middle income earners are struggling in electorates such as Gilmore.”
Gilmore has seen an 18% increase in the proportion of households renting privately since 2011.
“Relatively speaking Gilmore has quite low rates of renters compared to home owners, but those who are renting are really doing it tough, with a real disconnect between incomes and rents in the area,” Ms Colvin said.
“Housing is the biggest single cost of living experienced by almost all Australian households, and when you are earning a minimum or casual wage, are looking for work or are surviving on government support such as the Aged or Disability Pension, it means you do need to make a choice between essentials such as food or petrol and paying the rent.
“It’s clear that we need more social and affordable housing on the south coast, particularly in towns such as Nowra and Batemans Bay, where people are really struggling to find affordable rentals close to where there are jobs,” Ms Colvin said.
Ms Colvin said ahead of the Federal election voters expect all parties to announce policies that will address the cost of housing – the biggest single cost of living for households.
Campaign supporters across the country are writing to all their local candidates to highlight the issue.
Everybody’s Home campaign is calling for the government to:
- Develop a national strategy to provide the national shortfall o f500,000 social and affordable homes;
- Prioritise homebuyers over investors by resetting the tax system;
- Ensure a better deal for renters;
- Increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance to provide immediate relief for renters in chronic rental stress;
- Support a national plan to end homelessness by 2030.