Because Canberrans have a high average income, most of us can afford housing here. But for people with lower incomes, Canberra has recently been rates second only to Sydney as unaffordable.
The reality is that there are more people living in rental stress in the ACT, even after receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance, than in any other state or territory.
Further, 1,600 people were homeless on Census night in 2016. This is unacceptable.
A fairer housing system
A more functional and fair housing system would benefit not only people on low incomes, but all Canberrans.
- Low and moderate income could afford to live in housing that suits their needs.
- Adult children could afford to leave home, establishing their independence and allowing their parents to downsize.
- Women and children could more easily escape domestic violence.
- The local economy would benefit, as people would have greater discretionary income if they were not spending so much of their money on rent or a mortgage. A significant burden could also be taken off our justice and health systems. Experiencing homelessness not only causes illness, but it can exacerbate pre-existing health issues to critical levels.
Australia has one of the most out-of-control rental markets in the world. Canberra is no exception.
People looking to rent a home often find themselves competing against dozens of other applicants, facing application discrimination and unable to secure a fixed-term lease. As Canberra grows, we need to ensure now more than ever that renters rights are secured.
The Greens are working hard to get Canberra renters a better deal. Click here to find out more.