The nation’s housing crisis is rapidly deteriorating, but the pressure on states to keep people off the street is about to get a lot heavier.
Over the next year, a whopping 400,000 migrants are expected to move to Australia, but with 120,000 Aussies living rough, there are calls for the federal government to stop “wasting” money on sporting stadiums.
During a recent trip to Tasmania, Anthony Albanese was heckled by protesters as he promoted new government funding to upgrade the state’s AFL outlook.
In a press conference discussing the proposed new $240m Hobart stadium development, which will support a potential new Tasmania, AFL team, the Prime Minister faced frustrated Tasmanians begging him to put the money towards more housing.
“Let’s talk about housing Prime Minister,” the protesters yelled.
“We need houses, not another stadium.”
They held signs reading “public homes, not a stadium” and “I love footy and being able to afford life”.
The calls come as nearly half a million migrants are expected to enter the country over the next year, as a surge in international students and backpackers is expected to add more pressure to the already struggling housing market.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, net overseas migration dropped to an all-time low over the course of the pandemic, plummeting to -94,400 in March 2021.
But with the reopening of international borders, a travel boom and an influx of student visas, the forecast migration rate for the next 12 months is set to no only top 400,00 this year but another 315,000 by June 2024.
The ABS revealed that more than 120,000 Australians were experiencing homelessness and hundreds of thousands more struggling to pay to keep a roof over their heads.
The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation recently revealed more than 330,000 households were experiencing rental stress.
Vacancy rates among rental homes declined in 2022, with rates dropping to pre-pandemic levels.
The corporation warns that the rental crisis will only get worse in the coming years, as a supply gap of more than 330,000 homes is expected in the years leading up to 2027.
With the inevitable increase in population across the country, many continue to criticise the federal government for prioritising sport and recreation over the housing crisis.
Tasmania is feeling the brunt of the crisis, with rent rates rising 45 per cent over the past five years and rental vacancy dropping to 0.7 per cent.
In Melbourne, a homeless camp set up in the heart of the CBD was recently dismantled by council workers.
Sydney residents have been forced to set up their own tent city as hundreds more mitigate homelessness.
The National Rental Affordability Scheme was introduced in 2008, designed to increase the supply of affordable rentals and encourage large-scale investment in delivery of affordable housing.
However, the funding scheme is set to conclude in 2026, with little talk about renewing it.
Labor’s 2022 election promises included a national housing plan, known as the Housing Australia Future Fund, but it is yet to pass parliament.