People’s Commission into the Housing Crisis unveils human cost

As Australia’s first People’s Commission into the Housing Crisis gets underway today, submissions reveal the majority of respondents are in housing stress and forgoing the basics to cope. 

The People’s Commission, convened by Everybody’s Home, received more than 1,500 survey submissions which show:

  • Three in five (58%) respondents are in housing stress 
  • Three in four (76%) of those who rent are in housing stress 
  • The top ways respondents are coping with housing costs are by reducing energy use like heating or cooling their homes (52%), avoiding the doctor and essential appointments (45%), and reducing vehicle use (39%)
  • One in three are skipping meals (32%), or relying on credit cards or buy now pay later (31%).  
  • Uncertainty about the future (67%) and increased housing costs (61%) are the top reasons for concern about the housing crisis.

Dozens of organisations have also lodged submissions to the People’s Commission.

Co-commissioners Doug Cameron and Prof Nicole Gurran will hear from parents, domestic violence survivors, essential workers and younger and older people on day one of hearings which starts from 10am at Sydney Policy Lab

Commissioner and former Labor Senator for NSW Doug Cameron said: “Submissions to the People’s Commission into the Housing Crisis reveal the human cost of decades of failed policy. Distressed Australians have told us of their harrowing experiences battling an unaffordable housing system and their ideas to fix it. Governments, academics, economists and organisations that, on a daily basis deal with the fall out of the failed housing system have advised of their views and actions. Australians want and need solutions that work. The evidence before the People’s Commission adds further momentum for governments to act.”

Commissioner and University of Sydney housing expert Prof Nicole Gurran said:  “For too long Australia’s housing policy paralysis has been sustained by dominant interests and ill-designed ‘solutions’ which have served only to maintain the status quo. I want to hear from the people most affected by decades of policy failure, to learn from their lived experience about real solutions to the immediate crisis and their priorities for long-term reform.”

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Maiy Azize said: “This crisis is engulfing people from every part of society. Moving back in with their parents or children, being priced out of their communities, and abandoning the prospect of marriage and kids are just some of the impacts we’re hearing about.

“The People’s Commission into the Housing Crisis is shining a light on one of the greatest problems of our time, and giving people a platform to share their stories and solutions. It is incumbent on state and federal governments to listen and act.” 

A final report that includes key findings is expected mid-year. 

Read more about the hearings here.

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