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A lack of affordable housing hurts everyone

The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia says the basic human rights of many Australians are being compromised due to a lack of affordable housing.

The St Vincent de Paul Society has joined a new campaign, Australians for Affordable Housing, launched by 60 national housing, welfare and community sector organisations in Canberra today.

“Access to safe and secure housing is a basic human right,” Chief Executive Officer Dr John Falzon said. “That right is compromised when on any given night around 105,000 Australians are forced to experience homelessness.”

The Australians for Affordable Housing (AAH) campaign aims to improve housing affordability for all Australians, from those renting to those who are looking to buy or struggling with high housing costs.

In its report, Australia’s broken housing system, AAH found the price of homes for rent or sale is rising faster than incomes and the median house price is now seven times the average annual income.

“Housing affordability is a problem Australia-wide. There are 173,000 people on public housing waiting lists and a shortage of 493,000 low cost rental properties that are available to low income earners,” Dr Falzon said.

St Vincent de Paul Society National President, Mr Anthony Thornton added: “Our members work with people who have been ‘priced out’ of housing and rental markets for life. We know that the lack of affordable housing directly contributes to homelessness, housing insecurity, mental illness and financial stress.”

“We support the campaign to encourage governments to take a more active role in improving access to affordable housing across the country.”

To find out more about the campaign, you can visit the AAH website, www.housingstressed.org.au

Media contact: Colleen O’Sullivan 0400 845 492

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