Catholic Social Services Australia says the housing crisis is an Australian-wide disaster affecting everyone from the unemployed through to double-income families.
“Across Australia, we are seeing more and more families and individuals being forced out of their homes, sleeping on couches, in cars or on the streets,” CSSA chair Francis Sullivan said.
“And while state and federal governments have plans to generate around 9000 new social rental dwellings in 2024, this is barely enough to keep up with demand.
“The facts speak for themselves; among the 46,000 private rental properties advertised for let across Australia in March this year, just 1.4 per cent were affordable to an age pensioner couple,” Mr Sullivan said.
CSSA’s comments follow the release of Launch Housing’s 2018-2022 Homeless Monitor report. The report showed some 185,000, or nearly a fifth of low-income private renters, are paying more than half of their household income in rent, well above the accepted maximum tolerable measure of 30 per cent.
The report said this low-income group is especially exposed to the risk of homelessness as rentals continue to skyrocket and low-income housing stock falls.
Mr Sullivan said it was encouraging that the Albanese Government has begun to re-engage with the homelessness policy challenge, having pledged a five-year program to construct 20,000 new social housing units, and 10,000 affordable rental dwellings from about 2023-24.