Cost of liv­ing to hit home

RENT AF­FORD­ABIL­ITY AN IS­SUE

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jenny Gal­braith

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.

Pic­ture: JACKIE TE-AROHA for The Street Univer­sity

The Pi­rates krump crew per­form at the Heat from the Street video shoot on Thurs­day.

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