A Greens-initiated inquiry into the country’s escalating housing crisis will seek the views of the millions of Australians who rent, building pressure on the government ahead of the Prime Minister’s upcoming meeting with state and territory premiers and ministers.
The Inquiry, which is the first ever national inquiry into the rental crisis, will open the floodgates for renters to highlight how the housing crisis is affecting them - from skyrocketing rents, to insufficient rights around the length of leases and prevent unfair evictions.
The Greens anticipate that the committee will see submissions from thousands of people who have never directly interacted with a government process like this before. To facilitate this process, renters will be able to submit their housing horror stories with a simple online form, allowing them to easily share their experiences and views about how the government should tackle the crisis.
With submissions now open to the public until August 4, the Greens say they will push for thousands of renters to lodge submissions to the Inquiry, as well as peak bodies advocating for renters and housing reform, building the pressure for change.
Labor has already buckled to Greens pressure to provide immediate and direct funding for housing - having allocated $2 billion under the Social Housing Accelerator Fund.
With the committee to release an interim report by 23 September, every submission to the inquiry will build pressure on Labor to act in the interests of renters, prior to the HAFF re-entering the Senate on the 16th of October.
Lines attributable to Community Affairs References Committee Chair, Senator Janet Rice:
“For too long, renters have been ignored by the major parties,” Senator Rice said.
“A third of Australians rent, but Labor hasn’t lifted a finger to help ease the huge financial stress amidst record rent increases and skyrocketing grocery prices.
“We aim to get thousands of renters to share their experiences so that when the National Cabinet deliberates renters’ rights in a few months, Labor will be forced to reckon with the scale of the problem and put human faces to the housing crisis.”
Lines attributable to Senator Larissa Waters, Acting Leader of the Australian Greens:
“Anthony Albanese is ignoring the rental crisis and leaving renters behind,” Senator Waters said.
“The pressure from this campaign has already helped the Greens win an additional $2 billion for housing. We need to keep this momentum up and push Labor to act on the housing crisis.
“Rents have already gone up 20%, and the RBA is predicting they’ll go up even further next year. Millions of renters are struggling to cope.
“Labor is in power in all states and territories in the mainland - there’s no reason the PM can’t co-ordinate with Labor Premiers to protect renters by freezing and capping rents.”
Lines attributable to Greens Housing spokesperson, Max Chandler-Mather MP:
“With Labor so far refusing to cap or freeze rent increases it’s clear they just fundamentally don’t understand how tough renters are doing it at the moment, so maybe hearing from thousands of renters around the country will finally make them realise how serious this crisis is,” Mr Chandler-Mather said.
“Whether you’re a single mum one rent increase away from eviction, or a young couple struggling to save up for a house while paying too much on rent, or even just a renter struggling with poor maintenance and a dodgy landlord, this inquiry is for you.
“The government has property developers and wealthy property moguls on speed-dial, but this is an opportunity for renters to make sure they can’t be ignored.”