Cost of living to hit home
RENT AFFORDABILITY AN ISSUE
WHILE young people across Sydney are struggling to save a deposit for a house, Mt Druitt’s youth find scrapping together enough for a bond almost impossible.
Rental affordability was the major cause of homelessness among young people aged 16-18. The issue was being clouded by concerns over the housing boom, Marist Youth Care’s chief executive Cate Sydes said.
“Young people working on early-entry wages are not going to able to afford rent,” she said.
“Some rooms are renting at between $130-$160 a week, and they only make $200.
“They then have to catch public transport to get to their job, because most can’t afford to run a car, and you know how far the distances are in the Mt Druitt and Blacktown area.”
During Homelessness Prevention Week, Marist Youth Care will support the Youth Advisory Council’s findings that housing affordability and homelessness are high-priority issues for young people.
Housing is usually considered affordable if it costs less than 30 per cent of gross household income.
Homelessness Australia statistics show that on any given night in Australia, 17,845 under 12-year-olds experience homelessness, and 10,913 are aged 12-18.
For years, Marist Youth Care ran a refuge transition program to help young people who were working to live independently and to eventually enter the private rental market.
Funding for the program was cut by the recent Federal Government’s homelessness reforms.
“There’s not one child in our programs that wants to be sleeping on somebody else’s couch for months on end,” Ms Sydes said.
Social and affordable housing was discussed at a forum organised by the NSW Government in May that aimed to develop more private affordable housing.
A Department of Family and Community Services spokeswoman said they recognised access to affordable housing was an issue, particularly in Sydney.
“In coming months the NSW Government will release several policy initiatives to better manage the demands for affordable housing,” she said.
The government gave funding to the MyFoundations Youth Housing Company last year, which has properties in Sydney’s west and offers transitional housing for young people.
More than $27 million was invested in the development of 194 affordable housing properties in NSW over the last year, the department spokeswoman said.
And around 6800 new affordable rental homes were expected to become available next year as part of the NRAS, she said.
The Pirates krump crew perform at the Heat from the Street video shoot on Thursday.