A 20 per cent spike in rents is driving an increase in youth homelessness across the North Coast, the organisers of a national campaign to end homelessness say.
The campaign, Everybody’s Home, is calling on the Federal Government to take immediate action to make housing more accessible for young Australians.
‘Young people who are forced to leave their homes, or are left without homes through no fault of their own, cannot simply get a job that pays them enough to afford adequate accommodation,’ Everybody’s Home national spokesperson Kate Colvin said.
‘The rising cost of rental properties pushes stable housing further out of reach for young workers who are increasingly in housing stress.
‘The housing affordability crisis is even more dire for those on Youth Allowance. A person on Youth Allowance looking for a share house can afford less than one per cent of rentals.’
The campaign has this morning released median rental figures for regional NSW showing dramatic increases across all regions.
Holding an unenviable position near the top of the list is the North Coast, which has seen a 20.4 per cent increase in median rents over the past 12 months.
This is followed by the Central Tablelands, which saw an 18.8 per cent increase, and the Riverina, which jumped 15.7 per cent.
The increases are echoed across the country, pushing affordable rental accommodation further out of reach of young people, especially those on welfare.
‘Across all of Australia, just four rental listings out of 77,000 in December last year were affordable to someone on Youth Allowance,’ Ms Colvin said.
‘With youth unemployment at 12.9 per cent, many have no choice but to rely on welfare, but it is clearly not enough to secure housing.
‘Further, the costs to the Australian economy of health services associated with young people experiencing homelessness is an average of $8,505 per person per year or $355 million across all young people aged 15-24 accessing Special Homelessness Services.
‘Building social and affordable housing is crucial to ending youth homelessness and would be a major long-term cost-saving measure.’