Articles on Rental housing

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Morrison government assistant minister Luke Howarth argues that finding jobs for people in social housing will help free up dwellings for other people on the waiting list. Mick Tsikas/AAP

As simple as finding a job? Getting people out of social housing is much more complex than that

Helping tenants find work supposedly creates a pathway into private rental housing, freeing up social housing for others. Private rental costs and the situations of many tenants make that unrealistic.
Rental stress leaves hundreds of thousands of Australians struggling for years to cover all the other costs of living. Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock

Growing numbers of renters are trapped for years in homes they can’t afford

After paying rent, more than half of low-income tenants don't have enough left over for other essentials. And the latest evidence shows nearly half of them are stuck in this situation for years.
Prospective tenants need to make a good impression on the real estate agent who will decide who gets to rent the property. Shutterstock

Looking to rent a home? 6 things that will help or hinder you

Two-thirds of tenants in Australia rent through an agent, so making a good impression on the agent matters. Certain characteristics count in tenants' favour, but some factors are beyond their control.
Even when sharing a house, the average cost of rent means very little is left over from the Newstart allowance for food and living costs. shutterstock.com

City share-house rents eat up most of Newstart, leaving less than $100 a week to live on

Once rent is paid, having to live on only $14 a day doesn't cover the costs of job seeking. The evidence of the need to increase Newstart and Rent Allowance is overwhelming.
With more than 80% of Singaporeans living in state-provided housing, the city rates well for affordability compared to Sydney, where the figure is just 5.5%. Bill Roque/Shutterstock

Affordable housing lessons from Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore: 3 keys to getting the policy mix right

A coordinated mix of policies does more to keep housing affordable for a significant proportion of a city's residents than the unbalanced approach we see in Sydney.
Shared houses work well for 82% of people living in them in their early 20s, but only 25% see this as a long-term option. Earlyspatz/Wikimedia

First home buyer schemes aren’t enough to meet young adults’ housing aspirations

The housing aspirations of young Australians change as they enter their late 20s and early 30s. But having somewhere safe and secure to call home is the top priority for all young adults.
Older Australians aspire to the security of owning their own home, but prefer smaller houses in their later years. yopinco/Shutterstock

What sort of housing do older Australians want and where do they want to live?

Most older Australians want to live in a home they own, preferably in the middle and outer suburbs of a city. But increasing numbers look unlikely to realise their housing aspirations.
People living in private rental housing were much more likely than social housing residents to say they felt lonely. Dundanim/Shutterstock

‘I really have thought this can’t go on’: loneliness looms for rising numbers of older private renters

Increasing numbers of older Australians don't own their homes. Whether they are private renters or live in social housing can make a big difference to their risk of loneliness and anxiety.
Many places overseas require developers to build a certain proportion of affordable housing, but Victoria has opted for a voluntary negotiated approach. Lichtwolke/Shutterstock

If it’s voluntary for developers to make affordable housing deals with councils, what can you expect?

People on the minimum wage can afford only 2% of private rentals and only 1% if on the pension. Affordable housing requirements are often mandatory overseas, but Victoria is relying on negotiation.
This shed has been illegally converted into housing. Two prams and three mattresses are visible. Informal Accommodation and Vulnerable Households, author provided courtesy of Fairfield City Council

Informal and illegal housing on the rise as our cities fail to offer affordable places to live

With Australian city rents too high for low-income earners, increasing numbers are forced to share houses or rooms or to live in options like 'beds in sheds' and other illegal dwellings.
Labor wants housing to be a federal election issue, but to solve the problems of recent decades Australian governments need to comprehensively rethink their approach. Julian Smith/AAP

Housing policy reset is overdue, and not only in Australia

The problems with housing systems in Australia and similar countries run deep. Solutions depend on a fundamental rethink of our approach to housing and its central place in our lives and the economy.

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