Rental surge red zones revealed as nation marks homelessness week

New analysis of rental data by the Everybody’s Home campaign to coincide with Homelessness Week reveals the regions in each state where renters are hardest hit by the toxic combination of surging increases and stagnant wages.

The three year analysis cross references SQM rental data with wage growth for workers in retail or health care and social assistance and rental increases. Workers in those occupations saw average wages increase only 2.3 per cent annually over three years. 

But over the three years leading up to 22 July, 2022,  rents surged by the following average amounts each year.

3 year annualised change Rent 28 July 2022
TAS / West Coast18.7%$394.39
WA / Northern WA16.0%$643.18
QLD / West Queensland15.8%$270.16
NSW / South Coast13.4%$599.91
VIC / South Western Victoria11.1%$473.22
SA / Southern12.1%$395.90
ACT / Tuggeranong9%$641.49
NT / Northern6.6%$493.28

Everybody’s Home national  spokesperson, Kate Colvin, said the compounding impact of spiking rents and stagnant wages was smashing living standards and putting people at risk of homelessness.

“We know that rental stress is the gateway to homelessness,” Kate Colvin said. “When you combine surging rents with flat wages you put people in a financial vice. For the past three years that vice has been tightening.

“Homelessness providers are reporting stories of families with full time breadwinners being forced to live in tents. In a wealthy nation like Australia this is nothing short of a national disgrace. 

“The recent change of Government represents an opportunity for a reset. For a decade construction of new social and affordable housing has withered. Now is the time to get moving and give people on low and modest incomes genuine choice.

“Jim Chalmers and Anthony Albanese have been clear that public spending should expand the economy and improve productivity. Social housing meets those objectives better than almost anything. There really is no better return on the taxpayer’s dollar than providing the homes Australian families need to be healthy, productive workers, and to raise their families with the stability and security of a decent home.”

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