Saturday, 13 June 2015

The facts about housing affordability in Australia - first hand

link for snip

Unbelievably, before SSJoe opened his mouth and insulted us all for being too lazy to get a good job that paid well (or live in our own house getting paid $270 a night by taxpayers for doing so) a multi-party report on housing affordability had been tabled in parliament for perusal by all. One would assume that as taxpayers are forking out $270 a night for SSJoe to have the privilege of reading said report whilst roaming the rarefied halls of power at our expense, that he would in fact have read it. Alas no, he chose to be the fat guts patronising pontificator he is.

Had he read the report he'd have at least admitted there's a problem. One which is deep and has been in the making over the last 3 decades or so by gov policy and ineptitude. Today Australia is throwing $45billion a year to subsidise housing prices, for very little gain. 

More pointedly the situation that us renters face is often overlooked. Why is there such a lack of affordable housing for people like us? We are in no way the only ones, at least we're not homeless. However currently the state gov of New South Wales sees it's all fine and dandy we on the pension to pay over 50% of income in rent. They even have a formula that says so. This is after the household gets the full rent assistance from Centrelink. Housing stress is deemed as paying more than 30% of income in housing costs.
The situation is far worse for the growing number of renters, who constitute about 30 per cent of Australian households (an equivalent number to those who own their home outright). Sixty per cent of low income renters are in housing stress across Australia, and capital city rents rose at twice the rate of inflation between 2005 and 2010. 

Government assistance to renters has decreased sharply. Between 1996 and 2007 the number of public housing units declined by 32,000, while the population rose by 2.8 million people, and 42 per cent of households receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance are still unable to pay an affordable rent. 

And it isn't a matter of "not spending enough money". The government at present subsidises home ownership to the tune of $45 billion a year, a huge expenditure that simply isn't resulting in positive social and economic consequences and needs to be rethought. 

Nor is it a matter of focusing on foreign investors in a relatively narrow band of high-priced central city apartments, or arguing against immigration. Australia's capital cities grew much more rapidly in 1945 to 1975, with the difference being that the government actually spent an adequate amount on key public infrastructure during that period, including affordable housing. more
Some might say why not move out of Sydney? Why? All our support is here, both professional and social. Specialist doctors that we've had relationships over years. David still wants to get back to nursing when the dust settles with everything. Although SSJoe might well come out with something like "Poor people don't live in Sydney", the fact is we do. Why shouldn't our needs be addressed? Or are our cities going to become only for the rich elite? Is this not Australia?