Tomorrow’s National Cabinet meeting provides an opportunity for state and federal governments to step up and take significant action to address the rental crisis that is hitting many South Australians hard.
Adelaide rents went up by 2.5% last quarter, the largest quarterly rise this century. Many tenants are finding it almost impossible to find rental properties, and difficult to afford those that are available. If their rent is affordable, tenants still have few rights and little security of tenure.
The success of the National Cabinet should be judged by if and/or how much it delivers on :
- Significant new and timely investments in public housing;
- Increasing Commonwealth Rent Assistance by pegging it to actual rents and investigating widening eligibility;
- Capping rent increases to CPI to prevent excessive rent rises;
- Banning no-cause evictions (during leases and via the non-renewal of leases);
- Implementing minimum energy efficiency standards to save renters money; and
- Enabling renters to have pets as the default arrangement.
Quotes attributable to SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley
"Announcements earlier this year by both the state and federal government of investments in new public housing were welcome, but they will barely cover population growth. South Australia needs to build around 1,000 public housing dwellings each year to begin to rebuild the stock of social housing and put downward pressure on rental prices across the market.
"The SA government has also announced its intention to legislate to ban no-cause evictions and provide rights for renters to have pets. While we welcome these promises, Premier Malinauskas needs to double down at National Cabinet and confirm that these changes will be introduced in the next session of parliament, while also going further to legislate to stop excessive rent increases and implement minimum energy efficiency standards.
"Housing is a basic right with impacts on people’s health, security and economic opportunity. Governments, both state and federal, need to act urgently and substantially to address a housing system that is in crisis."