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Rent affordability continues to be an urgent issue

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By Alisdair Valente

JobSeeker supplement or not, Australians face unaffordable renting rates all over capital cities due to a lack of affordable social housing dwellings.

The recent release of the 2020 Rental Affordability Index by National Shelter, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Bendigo Bank and SGS Economics & Planning have concluded the need for urgent action to fix housing affordability.

St Vincent de Paul Society’s National President, Claire Victory, has urged the federal government to make safe, secure and affordable housing accessible to all Australians for the improvement of people’s wellbeing.

“The results are a further indication of the urgent need for a significant interjection of funding into social and affordable housing across all jurisdictions, including from the Commonwealth,” Ms Victory said.

“I repeat the call for the Federal Government to establish a social housing fund of at least $10 billion to augment the efforts of the states and territories to address the chronic shortage of safe, affordable housing in Australia,” Ms Victory said.

Ms Victory claims that the governments of Australia know there is a considerable shortfall of affordable dwellings being built annually and asks for the government to create a strategically consistent plan to solve this issue.

“Without stable, secure housing, particularly vulnerable people, are unlikely to get access to the support they need to participate more fully in their community,” Ms Victory said.

In November this year, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) formed an alliance with groups and organisations from the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and Industry Super Australia to increase the provision of social and affordable housing in Australia.

The Alliance was created in part to make issues of social and affordable housing a vital element of a ‘recovery roadmap’ to delivering essential construction activity and employment.

Along with the ACTU-ACOSS Alliance, Ms Victory maintains that the government showing leadership with these issues will not condemn future generations of home renters to poverty.

“This problem should not only sit with the Commonwealth and State housing ministers, it requires significant political leadership from the Prime Minister down,” Ms Victory said.

If you have any issues or feedback relating to affordability and social housing, please visit the ACOSS website to get in contact with someone who can supply more information.

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