13 May 2019
In the electorate of Wills, one out of three people are renters and nearly 30% of them are struggling in housing they can’t afford.
The University of NSW analysis for national housing campaign, Everybody’s Home shows that the average proportion of renting households in rental stress in Victoria is 30%. In Wills, the figure is nearly the same with 28% of renting households in rental stress.
Wills is one of the top ten electorates in Victoria that have the highest ratio of median income to median rent.
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 Victorian renters are doing it hardest.
“In Wills, there are nearly 25,000 people renting. Out of that, there are 6,848 that are experiencing rental stress.”
“There are 770 people in Wills experiencing homelessness. We’re calling on the Federal government to create a national plan to end homelessness.”
“Underinvestment in social housing, increasing rents and low wage growth mean that low income earners, and middle income earners who are renting are struggling in electorates such as Wills.”
In December 2018, there were 3,213 applicants on the social housing waiting list for the Hume Moreland region. Nearly half of those applicants were priority applicants (1,524).
It’s clear that we need more social and affordable housing in the electorate of Wills,” said Ms Colvin.
The Victorian Public Tenants Association (VPTA) and local homelessness organisation Hope Street Youth and Family Services, have partnered with the Everybody’s Home campaign ahead of the federal election.
Hope Street Chief Executive Officer, Donna Bennett, said Victoria desperately needs a serious injection of public funds into social housing options that young people can afford.
“Currently, our service struggles to find housing options for young people, as there is nothing they can afford in the private rental market, and this exacerbates the demand for youth crisis accommodation.
“We urgently need social housing options that are quarantined specifically for young people, at rents they can afford on their very low incomes. If we can’t do this, then young people will continue to fall through the gaps and numbers of young people experiencing extended periods of homelessness will continue to grow,” said Ms Bennett.
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.
Everybody’s Home campaign is calling for the government to:
- Develop a national strategy to provide the national shortfall of 500,000 social and affordable homes;
- Prioritise home buyers 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;
- Create a national plan to end homelessness by 2030.
Everybody’s Home and campaign partners will meet with local Labor member Peter Khalil at a youth refuge operated by Hope Street to discuss this ongoing crisis on Tuesday 14 May. Peter will also talk with young people currently staying in the youth refuge about their experiences with homelessness.
Media enquiries: Aliya Ahmad 0428 684 307
The Everybody’s Home campaign has united the not for profit housing, homelessness and community sectors with the nation’s largest charities in calling for leaders to fix Australia’s housing system so that everybody has a home.