Stable and secure housing is the primary platform for connection to economic and social community life, providing a base that enables people to overcome challenges and live a decent life. Increasing rents and house prices mean people struggle to stay housed, are forced to live in sub-standard homes or live far from jobs and services, and have difficulty covering other basic living costs.
Renters are particularly impacted by high housing costs as they are likely to have lower incomes, less wealth, and spend proportionately more of their income on housing costs. For many on particularly low incomes, rental housing is simply unaffordable (and home ownership is out of the question).
Download the SACOSS Policy Brief on Rental Affordability
In this context, public housing is particularly important. It provides homes for those who are left out of the housing market and adds supply to the market to make housing more affordable for everyone. Its construction provides economic stimulus in the short term and it is a store of public wealth over the long term. However, the stock of public housing in South Australian has declined over recent decades, many of the houses are old and energy-inefficient, and there is a substantial waiting list for homes.
As the SACOSS video explains, it makes for a Cold Winter's Night.
In 2021, SACOSS is calling for a significant investment (at least $1.4bn over 4 years) to increase the net stock of public housing in South Australia. Download the policy brief here.
In addition, SACOSS recognises that renters often struggle with high energy costs and do not have access to key energy efficiency technologies, and so we are calling for:
- A targeted program to improve the thermal efficiency of public and community housing
- Minimum energy efficiency standards for public and private rental properties, and mandatory disclosure of energy efficiency ratings for all rental properties in SA.
And as part of our Anti-Poverty Package, SACOSS is calling for:
- Increase the Cost of Living Concession for renters to the level provided to home owners
- Legislation to void any requirement for mandatory gas connections in new residential developments
- Revision of the legislation governing water supply changes for renters to align with other states and make landlords responsible for water supply.