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Tents pitched in a Queensland park (The Catholic Weekly/YouTube screenshot)

Australia’s housing crisis is forcing more and more desperate people to sleep in their cars, pitch a tent in a park or couch surf at friends’ houses, new data reveals. Source:

At a national level, the rental vacancy rate – that is, the proportion of leased dwellings available – is at just one per cent, while in some major cities, it’s even worse.

That limited supply, coupled with significant demand, has pushed rental prices up sharply in virtually all parts of the country.

Renters are struggling to find a home, and when they do they’re being forced to pay much more for it, pushing many into precarious situations – and putting them at risk of having nowhere to live.

The number of people sleeping rough or without a stable roof over their head has surged in the past year, statistics released yesterday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on the state of homelessness show.

The AIHW data reveals 273,600 people were assisted by specialist homelessness services in the 2022-23 financial year.

But alarmingly, the statistics show there were a total of 108,000 requests for help that couldn’t be met in the year – that is, people needing support but not receiving it.

While the AIHW report said there were “a range of reasons” an agency can’t provide support, it conceded that a shortage of accommodation is the most common one.

An estimated 640,000 households are deemed to be in “extreme” rental stress. That means they are at risk of slipping into homelessness if their rent increases, they endure a financial shock, or their personal circumstances suddenly change.

Advocacy group Homelessness Australia said the AIHW figures are “stark and alarming” and a sign the housing crisis is deepening.


Tragic cost of Australia’s housing crisis, as homelessness surges and rent stress worsens (By Shannon Molloy,