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Addressing our (affordable) housing shortage


CHIA National eNews July 2021


Wendy Hayhurst


With, at the time of writing, three states in lockdown, community housing organisations (CHOs) as responsible landlords have put into place measures to mitigate the risk to tenants and their staff. They are committed to maintaining tenancy services, safeguarding residents and staff, and minimising the risk of exposure. CHOs as they have in past lockdowns also offer assistance to those in significant financial hardship as a result of this latest outbreak.
At the very beginning of the outbreak, the then UN Special Rapporteur, Leilani Farha, called housing ‘ the front line defence against the coronavirus’. We have seen states and territories step up to assist rough sleepers through both the provision of hotel accommodation and committing funding to provide longer-term housing and support. The NSW Together Home program is just one example.
In Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland there has also been substantial investment by the state governments in new social and affordable housing.

Alongside this welcome news, the pandemic has highlighted just how dysfunctional our current housing system has become. CoreLogic’s rental review for the June 2021 quarter shows national rent rates have grown by 6.6% higher in the last 12 months; the highest rate of growth for over ten years. In regional areas rents have risen by more – an average of 17.7% – impacting lower-income households’ housing security.

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