MEDIA RELEASE: Lord Mayors’ crisis talks shows housing and homelessness must be a front and centre election issue

Today’s crisis meeting by Capital City Mayors should be a wake up call to all political parties to announce measures ahead of the Federal election that will reduce homelessness and increase social housing.

National housing campaign Everybody’s Home has united hundreds of charities, housing and homelessness organisations, as well as local governments and community groups in calling on all parties to fix Australia’s broken housing system and tackle the alarming increases in homelessness across the country.

More than 25,000 Everybody’s Home supporters across Australia are this week contacting every local candidate in every electorate urging them to come forward with election commitments that will address the crisis.

The campaign is calling for whoever forms government to prioritise a long-term housing strategy that will deliver 500,000 social and affordable homes over the next 20 years and to work with state and local governments on a national plan to end homelessness.

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Kate Colvin said increasing homelessness in every Australian Capital City is the result of rising rents and falling investment in social housing by state and federal governments.

“Increasing rough sleeping and homelessness in the capital cities is a symptom of much wider national housing and homelessness issues that aren’t being addressed,” campaign spokesperson Kate Colvin said.

“Yes, house prices in some areas have returned to 2017 levels, according to reports this week, but this doesn’t help low income renters who are bearing the brunt of unaffordable rent increases that are significantly higher at the lower end of the market.

“It doesn’t help the 811,000 Australian households in chronic rental stress and worrying week to week how they will keep a roof over their head – that’s 1 in 3 renters.

“Any shock to their income and the can quickly join the 116,000 Australians who are homeless in this country every night, sleeping in cars, shelters or on sofas.

Ms Colvin said Anglicare’s rental Affordability snapshot released this week showed that Aged Pensioners, young people, and ordinary working families surviving on the minimum wage are struggling to find anywhere to rent in every single state and territory.

Analysis of rental stress by electorate also released this week shows that it is affecting regional areas as well as our cities – with almost 40% of renters in rental stress in seats spread across the political spectrum.

“If our housing system can’t provide homes for Australians then it is broken and needs to be a priority for all parties,” Ms Colvin said.

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