National housing campaign Everybody’s Home today congratulated Opposition leader Bill Shorten on recognising the need to reframe the national housing debate to focus on the struggles of renters in Australia’s broken housing market.
Speaking in Melbourne this morning Mr Shorten promised to put people who are homeless and people who are struggling in rentals “at the front and centre“ of the federal election.
He stressed the need to recognise that this is a critical economic issue that affects the nation’s productivity and pointed to the need for a National Housing Strategy.
Everybody’s home campaign spokesperson, Kate Colvin said renters are the most affected by housing affordability but are forgotten in national housing debate– despite accounting for 1 in 3 Australian households.
“Of the 1.5 million households in Australia who spend over 30% of their income on housing costs, almost three in four are renters,” Ms Colvin said.
“More than 670,000 renters paying over 30% income on rent are also on a low income – so their high rental costs can mean they struggle to afford other basic essentials, like food on the table, and medical costs.
“And the problem is getting worse. Between 2011 and 2016, rents increased at twice the rate of CPI.
“It’s time Australian Governments took action to solve what is a growing crisis across the nation Australian voters are clear this is their top priority – with affordability and cost of living among the three most important issues voters want politicians to address.”
So far almost 20,000 Australians and hundreds of organisations, from Australia’s biggest charities to local councils have already joined the Everybody’s Home campaign to call for politicians to fix the broken housing system.
“Labor has today marked a turning point in the national debate around housing by moving the focus from real estate prices and property investor’s profits to recognising that everybody in Australia needs a home, whether they own it or not,” Ms Colvin said.