A new Poverty & Inequality report released today by ACOSS and UNSW suggests that Wollongong is the hardest place in NSW to find a rental property (as stated on ABC Illawarra radio). Regional rents have increased 18% in the last two years, and the vacancy rate in Wollongong is 0.6%.
Greens candidate for Cunningham Dylan Green was himself in the rental market in January, and says that the Federal government needs to do more to make housing affordable.
“I was looking for a rental place for about six weeks in December and January this year.
“A couple of times I showed up to a rental inspection and left as soon as I got there because I saw the massive queue of applicants and knew I didn’t stand a chance. The only reason we eventually found a place is that my flatmate knows the real estate agent. It’s not possible for everyone to get so lucky.
“We need more affordable housing in Wollongong so everyone can find a home. This starts with the Federal government providing more public housing to take the heat out of the bottom end of the housing market. There has been hardly any investment in public housing in the last decade.
“The Greens plan to build 750,000 publicly owned homes in the next 20 years. These are desperately needed here in Wollongong.
“We also need some serious tax reform because it’s currently easier for property investors to buy their fourth, fifth, sixth house than for someone to buy their own home.
“The Greens also plan to boost funding for temporary accommodation services so that no one is left without a bed. We can effectively end homelessness if we put our minds to it.