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Rents continue to escalate.

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Tanya Plibersek MP Shadow Minister for Human Services, Housing, Women and Youth


New data released in the Australian Property Monitors September Quarter Rental Report today show that the housing affordability crisis is hitting renters hard across all major cities.

Sydneysiders have been hit particularly hard with median asking rents for houses rising to $400 from $350 per week in 2006.

This new rental data echoes the alarming picture revealed in recent 2006 Census data that showed that over half a million households - or one in three Australian households that rent - are now losing more than 30 per cent of their income in rent payments.

For many of these families, high rental costs are adding to financial pressures from petrol, grocery and childcare costs, and are making it extremely difficult to save the deposit needed to buy their first home.

Author of the report, Michael McNamara, was quoted today as saying, "Maybe this marks the slow death of the great Australian dream." Mr McNamara noted that:

“We have seen a period with rising interest rates and unaffordable housing" "This means many would-be home owners out there will have delayed their decision making - some indefinitely - to buy a property…”

Labor is committed to a variety of supply-side policies designed to stimulate construction, to correct the large and widening gap between the number of people who need homes and the number of new homes being built.

A Rudd Labor Government would:

• Invest in a National Rental Affordability Scheme to stimulate the construction of up to 50 000 new affordable rental properties across Australia, for rent to low-income families at 20 per cent below market rates; • Invest in a Housing Affordability Fund to tackle the dwindling construction rates

for new residential housing related to the cost of infrastructure, saving new home buyers up to $20 000; • Establish a National Housing Supply Research Council, to analyse the adequacy of land supply across the nation, as well as rates of construction; • Establish Infrastructure Australia - a statutory authority to oversee reform,

planning, development and investment in priority infrastructure; • Appoint a Cabinet Minister responsible for federal policy on housing (there is no such minister in Mr Howard’s government); and • Invest in Trades Training Centres in secondary schools to help combat the skills

shortage, including the shortage in building trades.

For more information please contact Monika Wheeler on 0407 674 313

4 October 2007