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Jan 16, 2013

Young families increasingly reliant on insecure rental housing

New research by Australians for Affordable Housing has shown that parents with children are increasingly foregoing home ownership. Using census data, the research shows that there were almost 35,000 more Victorian families with children in rental accommodation in 2011 than there were in 2006. This represents an increase of 2.6 per cent in the rate of families in rental accommodation.

“Not so long ago, settling down meant finding stable employment, purchasing your first home, and starting a family. High house prices and the large deposits now required are taking home ownership away from that dream.” said Joel Pringle, Campaign Manager for Australians for Affordable Housing.

“The increase in renting is predominantly amongst young families who would otherwise be planning to buy their first home. Sadly, they are forced to choose between having children and purchasing a home. The housing crisis has made it increasingly difficult to do both.

Average first home loans in Victoria rose $73,500 between 2006 and 2011. Average rents in Melbourne also rose by more than 20 per cent. In 2011 there were 43,900 more households receiving Commonwealth rent assistance than in 2006.

Australians for Affordable Housing is calling on the Federal Government to use the upcoming budget to provide relief from housing costs.

“It is some years since a Federal budget provided new relief from housing costs, in spite of the growing housing crisis.”

“Renting is tough for families, rents are high and there is little security of tenure. Rent is not an affordable option for young families, but it’s the only option. Sky-high rents make saving for a loan deposit difficult, which is another barrier to home ownership.”

“We’re asking the government to increase Commonwealth rent assistance by around $25 per week. This would put young families in a better position to get ahead.”

“To address under-investment in affordable rental housing, an Affordable Housing Growth fund is required. This is the best-value way of addressing the supply gap in affordable housing.”

“Longer-term, as a nation we need to look at how our tax system is exacerbating the housing crisis. We need bi-partisan support for a review of the effect of current negative gearing and capital gains tax settings on housing affordability.”

Australians for Affordable Housing is a coalition of national housing, welfare and community sector organisations to highlight the problem of housing affordability in Australia. For more information visit

For enquiries and interviews contact Joel Pringle, 0427 563 989

Follow AAH on Facebook and Twitter: @housingstressed

  • Julie Smee

    and don’t I know it. Having brought up my now 22 and 17 yr old kids in unstable rental accommodation where we pretty well had to move every 2 or 3 years and so change schools. Consequently they both dropped out of school early…one in grade 10 the other grade 9. Currently their futures are limited. Kids need an education…a home. Is this what Australia wants?

  • Alexis G.

    As someone in their early 30s and a partner who is 35 – we have realised we will have to decide whether we want to try to buy a cheap unit (haven’t even thought about whether we could ever afford a house) or if we want to have a kid or two.  It is not an easy decision to make, but it is one that must be made.  I guess if we have a kid or two there may always be a chance that the government will sort this housing problem out as we get older.  But I don’t see that happening.  I was brought up to think that having a child without having at least put down a deposit on a house and starting to pay it off would be the height of irresponsibility.  Seems we’ll have to do what is “irresponsible” and wait and see if a fairy godmother will bestow a chance for us to buy a home one day in the far future.   Our generations X & Y feel terribly let down by the older generations who couldn’t see how their ever expanding housing valuations were squashing the younger generations and the government threw fuel on the fire with their policies which greatly inflated the house prices more.  There are so many reforms that can be made virtually overnight by the government, but both of the major parties have alienated all of us young people that want to ‘settle down’.  How would you feel?


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