Making sure everyone has a home should be our first priority. But the reality is that our housing system is failing millions of Australians.
Our system is rigged against renters. Our major cities have become unaffordable for people on low incomes. But our Snapshot also shows that regional areas failing to offer relief.
There is a huge shortage of secure, affordable rentals. That’s causing record levels of rental stress and even homelessness.
This does not have to be the way of the future. We can and we must tackle homelessness and rental stress – and make sure that everyone has a place to call home.
» More public and social housing
People on the lowest incomes are being squeezed out of the rental market, and we have chronic shortage of social and affordable housing.
It’s urgent government that the government invests in social housing. We need 500,000 new social and public housing properties across Australia.
» Raise the rate for good
Across Australia, people out of work depend on JobSeeker and other payments to get by. Many are likely to be renting, yet this Snapshot shows that the payment is so low that its trapping people in poverty and housing stress.
Raising the rate of JobSeeker and related payments above the poverty line will give badly needed relief to the people on the lowest incomes. It will allow them to afford the essentials they need to live their lives, and plan for their futures. Most importantly, it will give more people the benefits of a secure home.
» Relief for people struggling to make the rent
Commonwealth Rent Assistance has failed to keep pace with the real cost of renting – and for people on some government income payments, like Youth Allowance and JobSeeker, it doesn’t kick in until their rent is already causing serious financial stress.
We need to reform and increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance so that it works for people struggling to pay the rent.
» A plan to end homelessness
The number of people experiencing homelessness is growing every year because of the shortage of affordable housing. This lack of access to affordable housing is a major concern for older people, who are being into homelessness at record-high rates – at a time in their lives when they need stability more than ever.
People who are homeless need safe secure homes to help them get back on their feet. Being stuck indefinitely in temporary emergency accommodation is not the answer.
We need a plan to end homelessness that tackles the causes of homelessness, including the lack of affordable housing, poverty, and family violence. We also need funding and support to rehouse people who are homeless, helping them keep a roof over their head.
Once people have a home, we need to provide support for them to tackle the other problems they face.
» A better deal for renters
Millions of Australians will be renting for their whole lives – but how can anyone make a home where they rent if they can’t have a pet, hang pictures, or ask for things that break to be repaired? And nobody can be truly at home if they can be evicted with little notice and no grounds.
We need all Australian states and territories to change their laws to protect renters’ from unfair evictions, rent rises, discrimination and landlords who refuse to maintain properties.