February 6, 2023
As the gap between the cost of housing and incomes rapidly widens, the Australian Government must approve a $2 billion rapid-rehousing fund, expand the Housing Australian Future Fund to support annual construction of 25,000 social housing properties, and increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance 50 per cent.
The recommendations are contained in a pre-Budget submission by Homelessness Australia. A new analysis by the organisation finds that while incomes have grown five per cent over two years, rents have completely outstripped them over the same period, increasing 28 per cent.
|Rents increase over 2 years||Wages increase over 2 years|
“The Federal Government made a series of commitments to combat the housing crisis last year but since then, the supply and affordability of rental housing has badly deteriorated,” said Kate Colvin, CEO of Homelessness Australia. “People are being outbid for crumbling properties on the spot, sometimes by hundreds of dollars.
“With an extremely tight vacancy rate, the market for rentals is simply galloping away, especially for people on low and middle incomes. Parents are trying to supervise their kids’ homework while living in tents.
“In a wealthy, developed nation, this is simply unfathomable.”
As well as expanding the Housing Australia Future Fund and increasing Commonwealth Rent Assistance the Homelessness Australia submission recommends:
The most up to date research on housing need reveals that more than 640,000 Australian households experience housing stress or homelessness, and that need will grow to almost one million households by 2041.
The Homelessness Australia submission notes only three per cent of women fleeing violence get the long-term housing that they need, recommending a $2 billion Rapid-Rehousing Fund to stimulate housing acquisition and deliver between 4,000 to 5,000 properties in the first year.
The paper also highlights the entirely inadequate state of housing and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who experience homelessness at almost ten times the rate of other Australians, with approximately 29 per cent of Indigenous Australians experiencing homelessness at some time in their life. The submission calls for a commitment to create and deliver a pipeline of 16,000 social housing and Aboriginal community-controlled homes per year, with federal funding to be matched by the States and Territories.
Federal investment in Indigenous housing has plummeted in recent years from $794 million in 2011-12 to only $78.8 million in 2022-23 with no resources budgeted beyond 2023-24.
Read the Budget Submission at: HA Budget Submission 2023
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