The widespread rental crisis in Australia is continuing to escalate. The increase in housing costs, both in the ownership and rental housing markets, is having devastating impacts on individuals, families and communities. Recent reports based on homelessness services data show a dramatic increase in demand for services with women and children being among the fastest growing groups. The flow on effects of housing insecurity on women and children will be long lasting.
Housing instability is linked to poorer health and educational outcomes and impacts on long term employment and financial security. In previous decades, rental housing was effectively a stepping stone for young people to move out of the family home before entering into home ownership themselves. A small percentage of people were lifelong renters but that was typically linked to low income or highly mobile workforce groups with social housing providing an effective safety net for the unemployed or those with disabilities. Times have changed.
With around 30% of households being renters and an increasing prevalence of ‘generation rent’ (people who will be lifelong renters), intervention is needed to ensure that this growing group of renters can access secure, affordable, appropriate and suitably located housing. Whilst the inquiry will no doubt hear countless heartbreaking renter experiences, our submission will focus primarily on the systemic problems in the housing market. This will include the unintended consequences of previous and current government interventions, the limitations within both the private housing market and social housing sector and the need for long term secure housing models that can help to stabilise the housing system.
You can read our full submission here.