Calling on the Federal Government to invest in social housing

Imagine having just $312 a week to cover your rent, food, bills, and other basic expenses. This is a situation that many people are now facing, following the end of the Coronavirus supplement, and despite the announced $50 a fortnight permanent increase to JobSeeker. 

While COVID-19 already increased housing stress for manysocio-economically disadvantaged households are disproportionately bearing the economic toll of the pandemic 

The end of JobKeeper is also set to dramatically increase rental stress and, with limited supply of social and affordable housing, push many people out of secure and stable housing with nowhere to go. 

“Homelessness and housing security are about to rapidly worsen for many Australians. Yet, there is clear evidence that for low-income households social housing is the most effective way of preventing and ending homelessness,” Unison CEO, James King, said. 

“It is crucial for Governments to critically and carefully examine the responses to homelessness and invest in good quality social housing,” he added. 

The Victorian Government already demonstrated a clear commitment to supporting the most disadvantaged people through the Big Housing Build. We now call on the Federal Government to do the same – increase benefits and housing subsidies, and create the social infrastructure that will ensure all Australians can enjoy a life free from housing instability and poverty,” James King said. 

It is crucial that we don’t return to normal and let social housing continue to wither. Now more than ever if we let housing and homelessness policy follow its pre Covid19 trajectory, we could find ourselves going from pandemic to unprecedented levels of homelessness and housing insecurity.