Housing and homelessness

Both buying and renting houses is increasingly unaffordable for those on low incomes. Yet the 2018 Australian Budget effectively ignored these issues.

The Budget did dedicate a small sum of money for housing related research programs and proposed a couple of miscellaneous plans to promote small scale increases to housing supply.

But the reality is the Budget did nothing to directly help people struggling to put a roof over their heads.

Buying and renting will still be unaffordable for those on low incomes without investment in social and unaffordable housing.

The price of high-end houses in capital cities has seen a modest decline, but low-end houses have continued to rise. Meanwhile, rent prices are continuing to increase.

It comes as no surprise that rates of homelessness are also rising. There has been a 14% increase in homelessness across Australia since 2011. Major cities have seen much larger rises in homelessness - Sydney is up 48%. More older Australians are experiencing homelessness than ever before with a 28% increase. Increased housing costs have led to 613,000 people falling below the poverty line.

It's clear that Australia's housing market is at breaking point and it is time the Australian Government took this issue seriously.

A massive investment in social and affordable housing stock by Australian governments is needed as well as significant increases to rent assistance and income support to low income households.