Friday, August 19, 2022

NDIS Participants Unable to Access House Cleaning Services

A recent news article in Fairfax newspapers discussed a nationwide shortage of domestic cleaners due to the coronavirus pandemic. The labour shortage is indirectly impacting busy families who employ cleaners to help with domestic chores; and, more significantly, is causing genuine hardship for “vulnerable people who have funding for NDIS cleaning services, aged care or workers compensation packages.”

The article contains interviews with house cleaning business owners who have struggled to find staff. The recruitment problem is partly due to low wages, but also due to labour shortages caused by border closures — a lot of cleaning staff have traditionally been international students or backpackers on working holiday visas, however those people have not been allowed to enter Australia during the pandemic.

A reader’s comment on the article also suggests that outdoor home services like mowing and gardening have had trouble with staff shortages. However, a quick search online finds that there are other businesses providing services such as NDIS gutter cleaning services and residential window cleaning that do not appear to be impacted.

A government spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs who was interviewed in the article said that the department is “clearing the backlog in applications” from international students and backpackers to enter the country. But that statement sounds like hot air for the businesses experiencing staff shortages, and for the NDIS participants who are suffering because they cannot access important cleaning services.  Does anyone seriously think that international students and backpackers who have been locked out of Australia for 2 years are going to take up low-paid cleaning jobs as soon as they are allowed to enter the country? Or are they more likely to do what they are entering the country to do, i.e. start studying or go backpacking?

Let’s hope that all NDIS participants across Australia are able to access affordable and reliable cleaning services again soon.

Labour shortages are impacting NDIS participants in need of house cleaning services

 

Government Report Card on Community Services, Housing and Homelessness Released

The Productivity Commission has published the first set of data for its 2022 Report on Government Services (ROGS), with the goal of sharing data across jurisdictions to improve future service delivery.

A range of indicators were used to assess the performance of governments in delivering the 17 services, including equity, efficiency and effectiveness of services.

Data on community services and housing and homelessness were the first to be released, canvassing aged care, disability, child protection and youth justice.

Zoned Out: How Land Use Restrictions Divide The Nation

Housing policies ensure continual wealth gains for current home owners while leaving renters and potential buyers locked out of the market.

Housing policy is a battle between the haves and the have-nots. The haves are the current generation of wealthy home owners. They have enjoyed large capital gains over the past few decades and are sitting on property worth hundreds of thousands – often millions – of dollars. They support the policies that have delivered these windfalls.

The have-nots are renters and future generations of potential home owners. These groups are disproportionately young and on lower incomes.

Read the full article on John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations

Australian house rentals smash new records

Australia’s rental market is heating up in a big way, with new data showing rental houses across the nation’s capital cities have witnessed a 3.4 per cent price increase over the final quarter of 2021.

According to Domain’s latest Quarterly Rent Report, this stark rise equates to a new set of record high prices in Australia.

It also means that 2021’s rental housing market witnessed an annual price growth of 7.4 per cent – the biggest yearly increase since 2009.

Accessible housing design to only be used across half of Australia

Thousands of people will be denied choice in where they live as half of Australia’s states choose to opt out of a building code which would impose minimum standards of accessibility on all new house builds.

The silver standard design guidelines from Liveable Housing Australia (LHA) were incorporated into the National Construction Code (NCC) earlier this year to come into effect in September 2022.

The guidelines require a step-free path from the street to the door, wider doorways, hobless showers, reinforced walls in bathrooms to support future installation of rails, and a toilet at entry level.

However, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia have all opted out of the new requirements, meaning the standards will not be enforced in those States.

House prices skyrocket and social housing collapses under the Coalition

The extraordinary prices that houses in Australia are now fetching were unimaginable just six years ago. That was before Scott Morrison became treasurer and, later, prime minister.

The values of most houses in Australia’s big cities and in some smaller cities and regional areas have more than doubled in that time.

This has locked countless first home buyers out of the housing market, probably forever, while multiplying the profits of rich property speculators.

Read Alan Austin’s full report on the Independent Australia website

Affordable housing advocates say Labor abandoned them

‘List of enemies’: Affordable housing advocates say Labor abandoned them

The nation’s peak organisation on affordability and secure housing for Australians on low incomes has accused federal Labor of rejoining a “list of enemies” against increasing home-ownership in favour of benefiting wealthy landlords.

National Shelter, which campaigns to improve housing access for low-income earners, has joined with several social groups to savage the federal opposition’s decision for scrapping key tax policies as it seeks to slimline its policy platform ahead of the next election.

The opposition went to both the 2016 and 2019 elections promising to halve the 50 per cent capital gains tax deduction and limit negative gearing to new properties only, attracting fierce resistance from the government and the property and construction industries.

Read more in the SMH

Anthony Albanese
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/50964933@N08/7139459247/

Australia’s housing crisis: it’s one of the most unaffordable in the world, so how is the Coalition going to fix it?

The Morrison government’s incentives to help people become homeowners may come to nothing without an increase in housing supply

With many Australians locked out of the housing market or staring down the barrel of a 40-year, million-dollar-plus mortgage, the federal government has proposed a raft of policies aimed at addressing housing affordability in Tuesday’s federal budget.

But whether they will help bring ownership within reach of more people is unclear, especially since housing supply and zoning powers lie with the state governments.

The Government Can Build Quality Housing for Everyone

Today, only socialists seem to advocate for high-quality, affordable public housing. In the mid-twentieth century, however, a state government led by South Australia’s Liberal and Country League (LCL) developed one of the world’s most remarkable public housing agencies, the South Australian Housing Trust (SAHT).

The government of South Australia (SA) established the SAHT in 1936. Over the course of its life, it built 122,000 high-quality homes for hundreds of thousands of workers. The SAHT was a product of a different era in the history of capitalism. SA’s need to industrialize, combined with high rates of economic growth, and a strong and organized working class, created the conditions for a pact between industrial capital and the state.

Featured Image from Wikimedia Commons

Runaway Land Prices Undermine Housing Utility

Australia’s runaway land prices are akin to a national emergency. An increase of $4 trillion in just the next five years is highly likely.

While meeting the weekly housing payment is our most essential financial commitment, why isn’t housing affordability the most pressing policy issue?

Land price inflation of $600 billion this year will equate to 30 times the size of total banking profits. But our politicians barely raise a sweat over it. One could joke that the only time we hear of a land price crisis is when a wealthy campaign contributor wants their land rezoned.