Renters among hardest hit by cost of living

October 16, 2022 BY

South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman has committed to Everybody's Home campaign for more social housing. Photos: SUPPLIED

HOUSING groups warn renters could have greater financial challenges ahead as the Reserve Bank lifted borrowing rates to 2.60 per cent, the highest level in nine years.

For six consecutive months, Australia’s central bank has increased interest rates in a bid to drive down inflation.

Last week’s 0.25 per cent hike was lower than the forecasted 0.50 per cent, but RBA Governor Philip Lowe said further increases were likely over the “period ahead”.

Mr Lowe said while higher inflation and higher interest rates put pressure on household budgets, the full effects of higher interest rates are “yet to be felt in mortgage payments”.

National spokesperson for the Everybody’s Home campaign, Kate Colvin said many people are finding it difficult to cover increasing living costs, with renters feeling the pinch. Ms Colvin said the median rent in the Surf Cast was “a whopping $520 a week… more expensive than wealthy Melbourne areas like Stonnington”.

“The median rental in Geelong and Queenscliff is now $420 a week, only $10 a week less than the Melbourne median of $430.

The federal member for Corio Richard Marles is one of dozens of state and federal MP’s that have signed the Everybody’s Home pledge to invest more in social housing.

The region’s rental vacancy rates sit between 0.6-1.1 per cent and Ms Colvin expects landlords will continue to pass through interest rises to tenants.

“So, it is likely renters have more price pain to come.”

Social welfare organisations including Geelong based Haven Home Safe (HHS) has reported an increasing inability to meet the demand for their services and now warn of a new cohort of people seeking help.

“A significant rise in housing prices and rental costs, alongside a decline in the amount of social housing available, it’s resulting in a large number of low-income people renting in the private market,” HHS chief executive officer Trudi Ray said.

Ms Ray said rising rents were squeezing low income earners out of a home.

“Ultimately in Australia we need to reframe our thinking about housing, so we recognise it as critical infrastructure that is essential to creating thriving communities.

“We need all levels of government and investors to pull every lever they can to support the community with adequate affordable housing to help us emerge from this housing crisis.”South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman has committed to more social housing.