An increasing number of Australian families are finding themselves homeless due to a shortage of rental accommodation and public housing, a new study by Wesley Mission released today has found.
The study reveals that displaced families currently make up at least a quarter of Australia’s homeless population and possibly as much as a third.
Many families who are technically eligible to access rental properties were unable to because of tight rental market conditions which result in ‘dutch auctions’ of rental properties to the highest bidder with the strongest financial position.
This situation is not likely to ease given the current shortage of rental properties in NSW in conjunction with the escalating rental costs. As home loan interest rates are expected to increase later this year, rental costs are expected to go up accordingly.
Dr Garner said the report’s findings about the rise in whole families confronting homelessness are truly alarming.
What happened to the ‘lucky country’ – something is certainly wrong with Aussie families having no roof over their head.
This issue is compounded by the relocation of many homeless families from rural areas to the city in search of housing and possibly employment.
“There is insufficient accommodation for families in a lot of rural areas when the main breadwinner loses their job and the bills start adding up that’s when we see the need for cheap housing that is not there,” Mr Cole said.
More than half the adults surveyed for the report had been homeless as children.
“It is clear from these results that having a parent who has been homeless is a significant predictor of being homeless as an adult,” the report states. “Poverty and alcohol are also common links, with more than half having had parents who had financial problems and issues with alcohol abuse.”