10 December 2021

Eden-Monaro rental crisis worsening, says MP

| Sally Hopman
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Aerial view of Bega.

Rents in the Bega Valley have increased by more than 14 per cent in a year, leaving many renters struggling to stay in the market. Photo: Supplied.

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.

Kristy McBain

Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain says because of rising rents, people are increasingly finding it harder to make ends meet. Photo: Facebook.

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.”

READ ALSO Liberals unveil plan to help ease Canberra’s rental crisis

“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.”

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Annterese Caulfield Reid2:26 pm 17 Dec 21

Over the last 20 years has public/ affordable housing that’s been sold because of demand from society for the land as a desirable place to build . Has that housing then been replaced ?
Areas will always become desired by some. So why should those living there be displaced by others without fair consideration like in cities and smaller coastal towns . Why not look at the area as one and sell one block to a wealthy person and then with the proceeds re build that housing for the same group. So they are not forced to move from their communities. Making areas for those that have and those that don’t just divide. I agree there are rules and that makes it all workable.
But the housing issue and the wage issues aren’t going away look at the cost of housing against wages ??
Have you looked at what works in other countries ( Europe? Scandinavia? ) where they have a hold on housing issues and learn from them.
The gap is just getting wider and harder
You can’t keep pushing people into areas that others don’t desire Then it all changes and they have to move on again. Make the divide smaller make things achievable for all.
Just some rambling thoughts

Allan Lehepuu8:47 am 17 Dec 21

At Michelago a developer recently proposed a residential development on their land.
Snowy Monaro Council responded with a Strategic Plan that would allow limited large block development with NO affordable accommodation.
Perhaps Ms McBain should have a chat with Snowy Monaro Council to try and leverage with the developer, who is prepared to build the infrastructure, to also build low cost accommodation.

Dear Editor

Kristy is right to be concerned.

The neo-liberal remnants of the Rum Corp that run NSW are a disgrace & despite a multitude of affordable housing programs to choose from, rely on high priced investor returns to completely dominate the housing sector.

If your on an ordinary ‘living wage’ you need financial assistance to experience the joy of home ownership.

It’s unempathetic and un-Australian to deny others the same opportunity.

You don’t have to look OS to find good examples; South Australia has an excellent shared mortgage/shared equity scheme run by HomeStart Finance.

Jason Shepherd7:21 am 12 Dec 21

Agree with you Matt, Goulburn Mulwaree is experiencing a ver similar problem. Ordinary people need help.

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