Ten per cent rent rise in north-east Victoria pushes more into homelessness

author avatar
Increasingly unaffordable: Rents have risen by more than 10 per cent across north-east Victoria in the past three years, according to new data from Everybody’s Home. Photo by Rodney Braithwaite

Rents in north-east Victoria have surged by more than 10 per cent in the past three years, which is putting more pressure on society’s most vulnerable.

A new analysis of rental data by the Everybody’s Home campaign to coincide with Homelessness Week revealed the regions in Victoria where renters were hardest hit by the toxic combination of surging rental increases and stagnant wages.

The three-year analysis cross references SQM rental data with wage growth for workers in retail or healthcare and social assistance and rental increases.

Workers in those occupations saw average wages increase only 2.3 per cent annually over three years.

On any given night in Australia, there are over 116,000 people without a safe or secure place to sleep.

Rising rents and inflation, domestic violence and a lack of affordable housing are some of the key things that push people into homelessness.

Everybody’s Home national spokesperson Kate Colvin said the compounding impact of spiking rents and stagnant wages was smashing living standards and putting people at risk of homelessness.

“We know that rental stress is the gateway to homelessness,” she said.

“When you combine surging rents with flat wages you put people in a financial vice. For the past three years that vice has been tightening.

“Homelessness providers are reporting stories of families with full-time breadwinners being forced to live in tents. In a wealthy nation like Australia this is nothing short of a national disgrace.”

Ms Colvin said the recent change of government presented an opportunity for a reset and a flurry of construction of new social and affordable housing.

“Now is the time to get moving and give people on low and modest incomes genuine choice,” she said.

“There really is no better return on the taxpayer’s dollar than providing the homes Australian families need to be healthy, productive workers, and to raise their families with the stability and security of a decent home.”