Soaring rents lead many to homelessness

Soaring rents lead many to homelessness

But it is renters who are really feeling the pinch, with affordable accommodation becoming increasingly out of reach, and many young people choosing to live at home, while those with less choice are left homeless and vulnerable.

A report released by Anglicare last week showed that less than |1 per cent of Perth rental properties were affordable for people on benefits. The median weekly rent in Perth had risen 16 per cent in the past year.

Anglicare CEO Ian Carter said the rise was due to increasing demand coupled with limited supply of housing.

‘At the moment, supply is not keeping up with demand, and when that happens, prices start rising,’ he said.

Chantal Roberts, executive officer of housing group Shelter WA, said overcrowding in share houses, and people sleeping in cars, were becoming a lot more prevalent.

‘For those people who just can’t afford their own housing, the only option is to share,’ she said.

‘For people on Newstart, for |single people, that’s an option for them, but I think the hardest hit are pensioners, because they don’t have that choice.’

Jethro Secombe, manager of Anglicare’s Foyer Project, which aims to provide affordable accommodation to young people, said there was a new kind of homelessness emerging among the young.

‘The major way that they’re homeless is through couch-surfing, and bouncing from place to place,’ he said.

‘So instead of not having a roof over their heads, they just don’t have a home, or a place to belong.

‘And the young people we’re working with are at the absolute bottom in terms of earnings, so what hope do they have of securing housing?’

Mr Secombe said many young people got lost in the ‘no home, no work’ cycle, which could lead to them becoming chronically homeless.