According to the findings of a recent survey, the current state of the housing market, combined with escalating levels of financial strain, is responsible for more than 1,600 people being homeless every single month.
Homelessness As a result of skyrocketing rents and unprecedentedly low vacancy rates, Australia reported that between December and March, the need for homeless services increased by 7.5% across the country. In total, there were an additional 6,658 persons who needed assistance.
According to the study that was published on Friday, the state of Queensland saw the largest increase in demand for homeless services (12.9%), followed by the state of Western Australia (11.1%) and the state of New South Wales (10.2%).
Seventy-four per cent of those who receive these programs are children and women.
The chief executive officer of Homelessness Australia, Kate Colvin, stated that the rapidly increasing number of persons requesting assistance made it more difficult for services to deliver that assistance.
It is unheard of for there to be a 7.5% growth in demand in only four months. “It forces homeless assistance services to make extremely difficult decisions about who gets help,” she said.
When this demand is annualized and added to the number of people we have already had to turn away, we are looking at a financial gap of more than $450 million.
This is only one of many horrific consequences that have arisen as a direct result of the greatest housing crisis anyone alive today can remember.
In the month of March, there were more than 95,000 persons looking for aid with their homelessness. Housing or financial difficulties were indicated as the cause for leaving by 83% of those people.
There is one of those named Jett Greenhalgh. The woman, who was 59 years old, saw her rent go up from $420 to $550 per week in September, rendering the home she had rented for the previous three years unaffordable.
“I’ve basically lost everything to my name due to the rental crisis,” she added. “It’s been very difficult.” I was trying to save up for the rent, but it wasn’t going to work out.
Greenhalgh is unable to meet her obligations because she relies on jobseeker’s assistance. Due to Perth’s competitive rental market, it was impossible for her to find another place within her price range.
She parted with all of her possessions, including her vehicle, and moved into a bus that she had purchased, which she now keeps parked in front of the rental property that her son has in Kalgoorlie.
Greenhalgh is intending to earn her bus driver’s license and then work a variety of odd jobs. I make $400 per week, but by the time we pay our expenses and fill up the gas tank, I’m destitute. There is essentially nothing left to eat or drink.”
On Friday, more than 80 housing organizations issued a plea for a comprehensive overhaul of the rental sector in an effort to alleviate the current housing crisis. They say that in order to safeguard Australians against price surges and poor-quality housing, the federal government ought to adopt minimum rent guidelines.
Tenant unions, housing providers, and services for victims of domestic abuse are some of the organizations that have signed a statement to be submitted to the Senate’s inquiry into the rental issue. The statement states that the market is characterized by “instability, insecurity, and a lack of adequate protections.”
They want to see an end to evictions for no apparent reason, as well as limits on rent hikes, minimum energy standards, and improved enforcement of tenancy regulations. In addition to this, they are requesting that the state and federal governments work toward the goal of having at least 10 per cent of all homes be designated as social housing.
According to what is written in the letter, “market rents are unaffordable” and “many renters are struggling to secure a new rental property in the fiercely competitive private rental market.”
Because the majority of renters continue to endure substantial insecurity, it is extremely challenging for them to exercise their rights, such as requesting that repairs be made.
The chief executive officer of National Shelter, Emma Greenhalgh, stated that the current time was a “watershed moment” for housing policy. She advocated for “substantive rental reform by the commonwealth and state governments to make the experience of renting much better for tenants.”
“Renting will be a lifelong tenure for many Australians, and we need to ensure that the homes they live in are affordable, secure, and healthy.” “Renting will be a lifelong tenure for many Australians.”
A deadlock between the Greens and the Labor government has resulted in the trademark housing policy of the Labor administration remaining in limbo in parliament. The Greens are demanding increased funding for public housing and want the prime minister to push the states and territories to bring in rent freezes. The Labor government is in a standoff with the Greens.
The housing spokesman for the Green Party, Max Chandler-Mather, made the assertion that the federal government was “pretending” that it couldn’t do more to coordinate rent freezes.
He mentioned that the national cabinet was already considering taking greater action on tenants’ rights and that state leaders had already implemented caps in the energy market. He also mentioned that renters’ rights were being considered by the national cabinet.
“Replace caps on energy prices with caps on rents, and that’s what we’re proposing happens,” he said. “Rents should be capped instead of energy prices.”