Today’s AHURI report showing that the shortage of rental properties for Australia’s very low income households is growing by almost 7,000 a year again shows the urgent need for investment in social housing.
The research found that across Australia the shortage of affordable and available rental homes for households on the lowest 20% of incomes grew from 271,000 in 2011 to 305,000 in 2016.
AHURI also found that households earning up to about $60,000 per year are being squeezed out by middle and high income renters.
The report’s release comes as 83 Australian organisations from across the community. housing and homelessness sectors appeal for urgent investment in social housing ahead of next week’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) statement.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister the organisations urged investment in social housing to stem the spiralling national homelessness rate and kickstart Australian incomes and construction-related jobs.
Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson Kate Colvin said social housing investment in Australia was at a record low, while rent stress and homelessness is continuing to grow.
“People on low incomes are struggling in private rentals, and we cannot keep relying on the market to supply the homes they can afford,” Ms Colvin said.
“AHURI’s report again identifies the desperate need for social housing as the single biggest cause of rent stress for 4 in 5 Australians on low incomes who are having to choose between buying essentials like food or medication and paying the rent.
“There is overwhelming consensus that this will only get worse without a national response to deliver more social housing co-ordinated by the Federal Government. There’s just too many Australians for whom a safe, affordable home can’t wait.”
Everybody’s Home is calling for a national strategy to deliver 500,000 social and affordable homes by 2036.