The housing affordability crisis

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The Bureau of Statistics has disclosed that homelessness has risen by eight per cent over the past five years, despite the Federal Government goal to halve this figure by 2020. Over the last year one in every 98 Australians has requested help from welfare agencies because they are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and welfare groups are struggling to keep up with the demand.

Over the 2011–2012 period welfare groups were unable to meet one-fifth of requests for crisis accommodation, which means just under 50,000 Australians were left stranded. Michael Perusco, Chief Executive of the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, has said that a lack of affordable housing is a big part of the issue.

“These results… demonstrate that more work needs to be done to reduce the impact of the housing affordability crisis.”

James Toomey from Mission Australia explained that the private rental market in metropolitan Australia was too expensive for anyone living on government benefits.

“The vast majority of properties on the private rental market are not affordable for anyone on government benefits. If someone loses their job, they can very easily be tipped into homelessness. The door literally closes on you.”

Taking care of our own

If you are receiving the full Age Pension, which is less than the ASFA standard for a ‘moderate’ lifestyle, and do not own your own home then housing becomes a real problem. Living in any of Australia’s major cities is not financially viable for most, but moving away to find cheaper housing in a rural area means leaving friends, family and access to services behind. So what do you give up? And should anyone have to?

I was also distressed to discover that one third of those who received help because they were homeless or at risk of homelessness were children under 17, even though they only make up 23 per cent of the general population.

When did we stop taking care of our own? The Federal Government keeps telling us our economy is stable, yet homelessness has risen by eight per cent in the last five years. We are spending over five billion dollars on international aid this year, and even though domestic Australia has become the third largest beneficiary of that aid (a moral issue for another time), it is being used to cover the cost of asylum seekers arriving in Australia.

I’m a big believer in international aid and do not begrudge those countries in need, but when there are Australians who have worked hard all their lives struggling to keep a roof over their heads, let alone live comfortably, then I think there are some very real issues with the system.

Do you think housing is too expensive? Should the Government be doing more to alleviate homelessness? And should we be spending more to help our own before sending money overseas?

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80 Comments

Total Comments: 80
  1. 0
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    We have to look after our own, we have so many people going on about the refugees and their rights, it is time to look at our own people who need this help, it has to be addressed, and soon, the whole World is in a terrible state , but mixing people up and causing resentment is only sowing seeds for a lot of big trouble down the road, it is about time every elected memeber of Parliament put aside Party politics, and worked out a sound solution, and put the health and welfare and education of Australians before all of this political bickering, and do it fast, or it is going to be too late,
    People have to be taught that they have to be self responsible and help themselves, not just us! but anyone who want’s to live amongst us, a free ride is fast coming to an end.
    My mother used to say, “You don’t ask the street to dinner when you can’t feed your own”

  2. 0
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    I feel the same as you Sylvia. I am sorely tired of the UNHCR putting the guilt trip on us to do more for ‘refugees’ when there are 23000 Australians homeless at this time. This is a national disgrace. The illegals that have arrived uninvited have the cheek to complain about the conditions under which they live when lots of Aussies would love to be fed, housed, clothed and provided with free medical services that they are receiving at great expense to we taxpayers.
    The Government have been elected to serve the Australian people and need to be reminded of that.

    • 0
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      How very true – in 2001 =John Stone ex-Treasury advised John Howard to give out 12 month notice to the UN on Refugee Convention as outdated as for WW2. He didnt and I put that down to his having been humiliated by being labelled a racist by the left wing media as well as Labor/Greens and some of his own party who lean to the left meaning more compassion for anyone other than Aussies imo. Only this will stop automatic having to process anyone setting foot on our soil and demanding asylum. Either legally by air and overstaying a visa or by being smuggled in except today Labor sends the Navy to collect them off the boats in many cases sending message welcome – well they do vote left to begin with.

  3. 0
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    I totally agree Sylvia! I do not understand why Australian Prime Ministers feel the need to travel the world as though we are a world power splashing millions upon millions of dollars around, when we have our own problems which they choose to ignore!
    Australian tax payers deserve better. We pay tax and super for our old age and are forced to watch the government spend it around the world. The government is there to manage our funds and resources first and foremost but instead they spend spend spend Australia’s savings for the future and sell sell sell Australia to pay for it!!
    We endure never ending increases in our electric, gas and water utility charges which every state government has privatized or sold off!
    Is this just to pay for government itself?
    The old colonial state governments are still intact and growing complete with state Governors. Plus the federal government and Governor General. All paid for before a cent is spent!
    The old adage of “Don’t try to fix it if it is not broken” is fast giving way to “Can we afford to exist while maintaining an antiquated colonial system?”

  4. 0
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    Now far from where I live are homeless families (not people with drug or alcohol problems ) yet not far from me are government houses where Aussies used to live and they are fill with refugees. Of course its causing resentment. I asked my local MP and was told these house are given according to priority.

  5. 0
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    There are homeless ( not caused by drug or alcohol abuse) Aussie families living not far from me while local government houses, once occupied by Australian are fill with refugees.
    Migrants were once housed in hostels until they found themselves a job and accommodation. I recently asked my local MP about the problem and was told government housing was allocated according to priority. ????

  6. 0
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    Affordability relates to homelessness. The numbers of Aussie homless is rising each year. Now our esteemed leader and her cohorts are diverting $375 million+ (of foreign aid) to house the so called refugees (foreigners on Australian soil) in a vein attempt to cover up the rising cost of the flawed boarder protection policy. This sleight of hand makes Australia the third largest recipient of its own foreign aid program.
    If we (Australia) can juggle that amount of money for foreigners, surely it would be better spent on our own more needy Australians?
    Someone out nthere might be able to confirm this but I read that part of the re-settlement program, the govt is going to supply free, furnished housing to selected ‘refugees’. What about our own homeless you bunch of grubs?
    Keeping an illegal boat passenger on Nauru costs $328,500 a year.
    http://blogs.
    ews.com.au/dailytelegraph/piersakerman/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/labor_declares_australia_a_foreign_nation/

    It make my blood boil when I read these sorts of articles. One said”if it ain’t broke(n), don’t fix it.” Australia’s way of life and our government is broke(n). It’s about time we fixed both (are you listening Ms Gillard?)

  7. 0
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    People can become homeless very easily, often just through tragic circumstances and no real fault of their own, so please pkennedy do not judge if you have not been in those circumstances. It is tragic that there are people sleeping on our streets, people freezing in winter in cold climates in Australia without shelter, no they can’t receive any benefits because they do not have an address. It breaks my heart to see these people struggle when we seem to help everyone but our own. These people get no help except from welfare group if they are fortunate. Now to make matters worse we are also cutting funding to people in the world who are starving, what on earth are our decision makers thinking, may God help them to right these wrongs.

    • 0
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      It breaks my heart to see ppl starving in the world today. I think we should be housing and feeding our own first. I think the politicians are loosing the plot. Over spending. they are all the Same/Libs,Labour/Greens/ do any of them know what they are doing. I get the Feeling that they don’t. Stuffing up our health system to be like america’s WE should be doing better than america, not being like the jones’s.
      Australia should stop sending money overseas/cause obviously they don’t feed their ppls, with the monies being sent there, but are obviously wasting it. Otherwise why are the refugees spending heaps just to get to our shores!!! something very wrong there??

  8. 0
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    Don’t worry about boat people etc, the majority of homeless have brought the condition on themselves. I was born into not so great conditions but, throyugh hard study, hard work and managing my expenses v income managed to make a reasonable living for my family. The same opportunities are available to all – you just have to have to will to go for it…not lay back for the gov’t (of whatever persuasion) to provide it for you.

  9. 0
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    The Government should go back to the Migrant Hostel style accommodation like they had at Wacol years ago where the European migrants and Vietnamese stayed when they arrived here. Most stayed there until they got jobs which did not take long for most of them and they either built their own homes or had them built .My father in law was one of the people staying there and he managed to build his own home. His brother sponsored him and got him a job here. They came from camps and not once have I heard any of these people complain about Australia or try to get us to changed our religious
    beliefs. They too had family members shot but do not like to talk about the past. If these new “refugees” dont like it here in Australia bugger off.

  10. 0
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    The economy is on a stable downhill slide into trouble. Everybody seems to be aware of this apart from our government. But, then again, they do lie, don’t they? They have done so in the past and no doubt will do so again. I find myself looking over my shoulder to see if somebody is about to back stab me while I write this. The government is also known to have done that to various members of our illustrious government and opposition. The only industry that apparently has full government support is the escort and brothel industry.

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