Housing shortage impacts regional jobs

Rental housing has become so expensive and difficult to find that workers are unable to move to areas desperate for work.

The lack of affordable housing is costing regions millions as businesses are unable to operate at full capacity and grow, a report says.

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Kate Colvin said essential workers, such as aged care staff, were struggling to find affordable housing as rents soared and vacancy rates remained stubbornly low.

Ms. Colvin said there could be up to 60 families vying for a single property on a rental inspection.

“Most people pass by and if people move to the area, they spend weeks or months on a sofa or tent in a backyard, and often don’t move, which is why employers can’t fill those. vacancies, “he told ABC Radio.

A report by Impact Economics and Policy for Everybody’s Home found that the number of jobs in some parts of regional Australia significantly exceeds the number of homes available compared to major urban centers.

In Geelong and around Victoria, for example, there was one house for every 10 jobs. In Melbourne there was a home for six jobs.

The lack of affordable housing is also costing regions millions of lost economic opportunities.

According to the report, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, which has seen rents rise 36% since March 2020, is expected to lose $ 786 million annually due to vacancies.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers acknowledged the role of housing in the context of the labor shortage and suggested on Monday that super funds could invest in housing to increase supply.

Ms. Colvin said it was difficult for pension funds to invest in affordable housing because they were obliged to invest in assets that generated profits for members.

“The problem with housing is property prices and the cost of land has risen so much that it is not profitable for people to buy land and turn it into rental housing,” he said.

Ms. Colvin said it is not possible to provide rental housing to basic low-paying workers without government subsidies.

Based on a 2016 government study, Colvin said housing is a super investment only if governments cover the difference between the cost of providing new social housing and what low-income people can afford to pay. ‘rent.

Ms. Colvin has asked the government to expand construction of social and affordable housing by 25,000 new homes per year.

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