Today’s government response to the pending economic downturn leaves behind more than 800,000 Australian households struggling to pay the rent and risks allowing thousands more to slip into homelessness, national housing homelessness campaign Everybody’s Home said today.
Everybody’ Home campaign spokesperson Kate Colvin said the 811,000 Australians in rent stress have very limited capacity to absorb shocks to their income.
“Right now we are at the edge of an economic and health crisis that could see the hours worked by hundreds of thousands of low wage workers slashed,” Ms Colvin said.
“The reality is people will not be able to pay the rent in this situation.
“At the same time the one off $750 payment for people on government support will help temporarily, but rent comes around every two weeks, not just once.
“We already have 116,000 Australians who are homeless every night. Thousands more could join them if they lose the income they need for rent – and thanks to years of housing neglect there is not the necessary safety net in place.”
Ms Colvin said today’s package was a missed opportunity to buffer the risk of homelessness for low wage workers and at the same time get more Australians working by moving quickly to build more social housing.
Australian community, housing and homelessness organisations have repeatedly called for the Morrison government to invest in social housing to act as an economic stimulus by creating construction related jobs, supporting apprenticeships and providing affordable homes for families who desperately need them.
“That could have delivered urgently needed housing solutions in bushfire affected areas, alongside other areas with significant levels of homelessness.
“Instead the Government has taken a short-sighted short term approach that has burned an opportunity generations could have benefitted from,” Ms Colvin said.
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