Beyond the housing crisis – a home for all
A research report released by the University of South Australia (UniSA) and Believe Housing Australia, highlights the need for new collaborative vision, thinking and approaches to deal with South Australia’s housing crisis, which leaves thousands of people without a home each night.
The report, Beyond the Housing Crisis – A Home for All, authored by UniSA’s Dr Helen Dinmore and Dr Debbie Faulkner, noted that past government policies and a housing market gone rampant are two key causes of the current crisis that sees more than 6,000 people experiencing homelessness each night in SA, and more than 30,000 people on the State’s social housing waiting list.
Michelle Gegenhuber, Believe Housing Australia Executive General Manager, said the report comes at a pivotal time, as a new State Government takes the reins in South Australia and the country heads into a federal election.
Research report – key points:
- SA, like the rest of the country, is in the grip of a housing crisis. Our current system can’t cope. We need an urgent, national coordinated response to address the root causes.
- Rental availability and affordability are at an all-time low across the country. Availability is at its worst in Adelaide, where vacancy rates hit 0.2% in March 2022.
- Responses to the crisis must provide tailored solutions to high-risk cohorts with specific needs, including youth, First Nations people, older people and people escaping domestic violence.
- Investment in housing for all delivers community-wide social and economic benefits. When people are securely housed, savings through increased social participation and reduced service use far outstrip the cost of investment.
- There is community appetite for change. Survey data shows South Australians feel impacted by the housing crisis and don’t think the government is doing enough.
“We need a coordinated, focused response across government and multiple sectors. Everyone is already working as hard as they can, but the impacts will always fall short while we work within a failing system,” Ms Gegenhuber said.
“We know that when people are securely housed, savings through increased social participation and reduced service use far outweigh the cost of investment.”
Believe Housing Australia will host a series of solution-focused roundtables during 2022/23 for key government and sector representatives. Ms Gegenhuber said the objective of taking this collaborative approach is to develop, compare, contrast, and recommend strategies and actions that will ultimately deliver an efficient multi-provider housing system for the SA community.
Here are some photos taken at the report launch at the University of South Australia on May 12: