Housing crisis

Productivity Commission confirms worsening housing crisis

Productivity Commission confirms worsening housing crisis Today’s Productivity Commission report on government services shows more and more Australians are being pushed to the brink of poverty and poverty homelessness due to the explosion of rents and the reduction in the supply of social housing. In 2021, an alarming 45.7% of people on Commonwealth Rent Assistance were still spending more than 30% of their income on housing – the common definition of housing stress. This figure was up from 40.5% in 2019 and 29.4% in 2020 (when payment of the Coronavirus supplement temporarily improved income security.) The data reveals the vulnerability of older Australians to soaring rents . Almost a third of households on Commonwealth Rent Assistance with someone over the age of 75 were paying more than 30% of their income in rent. At the same time, the supply of social housing has not kept pace with population growth. Although Australia’s population has increased by 13.2% since 2012, the supply of social housing has only increased by 4.5%. Kate Colvin, national spokesperson for Everybody’s Home, said Australians were stuck at both ends of the housing system. “The Australian rental market now resembles a great white shark, swallowing up almost all household income. It is simply amazing that even after receiving rental assistance, almost half of households still experience housing difficulties. “The supply of affordable housing is quickly running out for people with low and modest incomes as rents soar. When federal politicians talk about a supply problem they need to get their priorities straight, we need more social and affordable housing to give people on low incomes a real choice. “COVID has completely distorted our housing market. Benefits are being funneled to those who already own homes while people in the rental market are forced into a brutal struggle for survival. “The best way to fix this is to raise the historically low rates of investment in social housing. We need at least 25,000 new social housing units built a year just to start closing the growing housing deficit.” We also need a serious adjustment to Commonwealth Rent Assistance which reflects the reality of soaring rents in Australia.”

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