Rents across the Southern Tablelands have risen by up to 20 per cent in some towns, according to the Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain, making it hard for people to make ends meet.
She said housing affordability had become increasingly difficult in recent years, particularly for families, students, pensioners and young people who rent their homes.
“While rent has skyrocketed across most of the country, parts of Eden-Monaro have been hit the hardest,” she said.
“Renters in Eden-Monaro are paying thousands of dollars more this year to keep a roof over their heads, making it harder and harder to get ahead when wages have flatlined.”
Ms McBain cited the Domain Rental Report of September 2021 to illustrate the upward trajectory of median rents in Yass, Cooma, Bega Valley, Queanbeyan West, Bungendore and Tumut in 2021 compared with the previous year.
It showed that Yass experienced the highest increase in rents, from the median of $400 in 2020 to $485 in September 2021, an increase of more than 21 per cent.
Cooma was next with an increase of 19.7 per cent, Bega Valley (14.3 per cent), Queanbeyan West (10.8 per cent), Bungendore (7.7 per cent) and Tumut (6.1 per cent).
“Everywhere I go across Eden-Monaro, I hear the same thing – we are in a housing crisis and people are at the point that they don’t know how they will keep paying their rent,” she said.
“In places like Yass and Cooma, rent has gone up around 20 per cent yet Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data has shown once again that real wages across the country are going backwards.
“This means families are having to choose between paying rent, putting petrol in the car or food on the table.”
Ms McBain said she had met with Mission Australia, women’s and family services and housing providers across the region and they all told the same story – “they are supporting more and more people because they are at crisis point.”
“My office has also had families come in to talk to us directly about the issues facing them – skyrocketing rent and the risk of homelessness.”
She said the problem was also affecting local businesses who told her the lack of affordable rentals was making it harder for them to put on the staff they needed.
“This is an issue that has been getting steadily worse over a number of years and it is essential that all levels of government work to address it, including building more affordable housing.
“I am proud to support Labor’s policies which look to start addressing these issues, including establishing the Housing Australia Future Fund which will build 30,000 social and affordable homes across the country.”