Thursday, April 25, 2024

More social and affordable housing is the only solution to Australia’s rental crisis

More social and affordable housing is the only solution

A boost in social housing benefits everyone – people in housing stress get the homes they need and building new homes creates jobs and opportunities

For the first time, Australia is entering the new year with a prime minister who grew up in social housing.

Yet as Australians face a rise in living costs, soaring rents, and crashing vacancy rates, we are also bidding farewell to a key housing affordability measure.

The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) was designed to help working people who had been priced out of renting, allowing them to create a stable home for themselves and their family.

The scheme wasn’t perfect – it was based on incentives and payments to landlords – but its end will mean thousands of affordable homes will disappear with no plan for the people who were living in them. Renters leaving the scheme will enter a rental market with record low vacancy rates. Data released this week shows a 10% surge in rent prices across capital cities. Many won’t be eligible for social housing, and those who are will find that waiting lists are years long.