NOT only is Australia’s chronic underinvestment in social and affordable housing worsening the housing affordability crisis, but it is also actually costing the country in other areas.
This is what the Everybody’s Home campaign found. Everybody’s Home is a coalition of housing, homelessness and welfare organisations, including CPSA.
Everybody’s Home has used modelling which shows underinvestment in social housing is causing economic damage to the tune of $676.5 million a year.
By 2036, if nothing is done, the annual damage will rise to $1.286 billion per annum in 2036.
That’s money, but there’s also the cost in human suffering: homelessness, mental illness, domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse.
According to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics estimate of homelessness, people over 55 made up 16 per cent of the total homeless population in 2016.
Males accounted for 63 per cent or 11,757 of this, a huge 26 per cent increase from five years earlier.
The number of older homeless women increased by 31 per cent to 6,866 in 2016, up from 5,234 2011.
Although no more recent statistics have been published, it is obvious that with rising house prices and rents, the situation has become even worse since 2016.
With each passing year and each passing federal budget where social housing receives no significant funding boost, more and more Australians fall victim to homelessness.
Everybody’s Home has calculated that constructing 25,000 social homes in a year would cost $12.9 billion.
Sign up to receive CPSA’s free weekly online newsletter. Click here.