We’ve Reached the End…

U.S. President Barack Obama Visits Connecticut Town Where Massacre Still Fresh

(Source: https://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/files/2012/12/1139629.jpg)

We have reached the end of our campaign and ROOF US FIRST would like to say a big thank you and good bye for helping us so much with raising awareness about the growing crisis of rental affordability.

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We started off as a small campaign that was created because I was quite shocked about how long I had to wait at Central Station (30 MINUTES!) just for a train back home (hint: The Government also needs to improve the T3 Bankstown Line please!). I decided to check the house prices closer to uni to see if maybe I moved out of home, I wouldn’t have to wait that long to get home. Surprisingly, all the rent prices were $500+ in the Kensington area and my dream of living away from home were destroyed. This caused me to start a campaign to raise awareness about the rental affordability of Australia, and after much research I realised that a lot more people were suffering in the rental market than I had ever thought of!

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It was all thanks to you guys, that I was able to generate so much positivity and feedback through this campaign and I hope that I have increased your knowledge on the ideas of the growing crisis of rental affordability. We have reached a total of 1,528 people on our Facebook page, generated a lot of conversation on our Twitter page and more importantly, gained recognition from social hubs that advocate rental affordability in Australia. If you are currently suffering from rental stress or feel like you need help, don’t ever hesitate to contact us through this blog OR visit Anglicare Sydney for some help! Always utilise the power of social media and let the world know how you are suffering!

Until then, thank you for tuning in to our campaign, and sincerely, I thank every single one of you.

-Roof Us First

 

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MP Scott Morrison said WHAT?!

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(Source: https://noplaceforsheep.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/angry-scott-morrison.jpg)

The Coalition government’s favourite thing to do is always to “think about things” rather than doing anything to address the growing crisis of housing affordability. Rather than implementing his predecessor Joe Hockey’s ideology of “get a job, a job that pays well”, Morrison has taken it one step further and diverted the public’s attention away from the concepts of ‘negative gearing’ and ‘capital gains tax’ into something more ridiculous like “high housing costs are a supply problem an the states really should do something about it”.

Well…. the team here at Roof Us First will tell you…. NO IT’S NOT!

Remember in one of our earlier posts we told you about the concepts of negative gearing and the capital gains tax and how it affects the house prices in Sydney or Australia in general? This forces rents prices to soar because people are trying to make the money they lost back through high rental prices, which drives the rental affordability crisis.

The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING. These policies are making Australian housing very expensive and social housing is become much more harder to come by BECAUSE the housing market is being controlled by heartless taxes which cause an increase in inequality in wealth acquisition.

If you want to read more about this recent heated debate, please head over to: Housing is Scott Morrison’s favourite sort of problem – someone else’s – with a fix years away and let us know what you think about this growing crisis!

All ideas were sourced from here!

-Roof Us First

How a UNSW Student Spends 70% of her Income on Rent!

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(Source: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/what-working-has-taught-me)

Angelina (fake name for privacy reasons) is currently a UNSW Student suffering from rental stress, meaning that she spends more than 25 per cent of her income on rent.

Describe your current situation. Do you work/study? Are you an international or local student?

I am currently a local student and I work part-time and study full-time. I am renting a unit in the South-West and I currently reside with my mum and sister who all contribute to help pay for the rent.

Do you currently spend majority of your income on rent? If your parents help you out, do you think you would have been able to rent a property without their assistance?

I currently spend all my Youth Allowance to help my mother out on rent. Without the contribution of my Youth Allowance, we would not be able to afford daily necessities as all of our income would be directed towards paying rent for the week

How often do you have to sacrifice daily necessities in order to meet the weekly rent requirement?

As our rent remains a fixed amount, we have to budget on how we spend on our necessities based around our rent. However, working part-time allows me to be able to afford and cover any extra costs on daily necessities if needed.

Do you have to work and study at the same time in order to be able to afford renting a home in Sydney.

Yes, I do have to work and study at the same time in order to afford renting as renting is quite expensive in Sydney and that working allows me to cover any extra expenses such as water, electricity, gas and phone bills. Additionally, we spend about 70% of our budget to pay for rent and the rest of our budget is to pay for other expenses.

Does the Government currently provide you with any rent assistance?

Government provides us with rent assistance under the Family Tax Benefit Scheme. However, the rent assistance only subsidies about 15% of our fortnightly rent payment and the rest we pay from our own income.

If you had a few words for the Government, what would they be?

I would definitely say to them that the Rent Assistance rates, I believe do not reflect upon the current rising rent rates in Sydney. I believe that they should help provide us with further assistance or modify the rent assistance rates as currently you receive a maximum payment rate only if your fortnightly rent is MORE than $357.38. That is about $180 per week on rent which I don’t believe reflect the current rates in the rental market. To rent a unit/house $180 is quite rare as only houses like that are found out of the city suburbs and living in those suburbs that would decrease our opportunity for work and study due to the long distance. So definitely working on the Rent Assistance Scheme to provide assistance to those who need it should definitely looked into in and modifying rates to reflect upon the current rental market.

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Let us know your thoughts on Angelina’s story! Do you think the Government should do something?

-Roof Us First

Living on $24/Day? Do you suffer from Rental Stress?

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(Image: www.thewrittenreference.com)

More than 25 per cent of Newstart Allowance (financial help if you are looking for work or participating in approved activities that may increase your changes of finding a job) recipients in Australia – 76,951 – suffer from severe ‘rental stress’, meaning that they are paying more than 50 per cent of their income on rent (ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!). This number has more than doubled in the last 15 years from just 32,500 to almost 76,950!

Especially if you are a ‘low-income household’, survivng on less than $24/day means that you may have to sacrifice necessities such as food, water, travelling to job appointments OR even having access to the Internet!

The Coalition is also planning to cut the $4.40/week energy supplement which assists low-income households with some support on their energy bills. If the Government continues to remove these incentives, more and more individuals who are on the brink of homelessness may fall into poverty devaluing their quality of life!

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(Source: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/rent-assistance)

If you look at the above rates of what payments the Government can provide families with, the maximum payment per fortnight is only $173.18 only if your fortnightly rent is more than $457.15. This means that on a weekly basis, you are only entitled to $86.59 and currently rent prices are almost $400 a week. Obviously, these Government payments are not reflecting the current nature of the competitive rental market with the rental prices continuing to grow. This ultimately leaves a lot of families giving  up their necessities in order to pay off the rent.

Let us know down below if you think you could survive these crazy house prices in Australia, let alone survive on only $24/day!

All information from this blogpost was cited from The Guardian

-Roof Us First

COULD THIS BE A POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO THE HOUSING AFFORDABILITY CRISIS?

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(Image: https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2016/10/ikea-homes-offers-solution-housing-affordability-crisis/)

What more can we ask for?

Generation gaps are widening, wages are declining, mortgages are not being approved, house prices are rising and you cannot even afford to rent a place in Sydney?

But has BIG WORLD HOMES found the solution? 

Big World Homes  is a social enterprise that creates pop-up and transitional communities. Their ambassador Ella Colley states that teams have been working together on ‘Ikea for Homes’ with developers, governments and community organisations in order to address the growing issues of homelessness and the lack of social housing. This way, they have come up with a great solution of creating affordable housing in urban areas ESPECIALLY SYDNEY.

AND THEREFORE homes were creatively designed to create a ‘transitional community’ which allowed people to move into home ownership for the long-term.

A HOME that is insulated, weatherproofed, comes with a kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom and collects rainwater, solar panels and reduces our carbon footprint? For only a fraction of your pay? WE SAY YES!

“Guinea Pigs” (of course human beings!) will be testing these homes next year and hopefully if this trial is a success, majority of the Australian population will be able to save up all the expenses spent on rent for their deposit on their first homes. This idea really aims to work with local councils and develops to make a use out of unused land in the city and create ‘pop-up’ communities using these ‘Big World Homes’.

WE DEFINITELY SUPPORT THIS GREATE AND INNOVATIVE IDEA! Let’s stop the housing affordability crisis together!

All ideas in this blogpost were sourced from HERE

-Roof Us First

 

CAN’T AFFORD A PROPERTY? GOOD NEWS FOR YOU!

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(Image: www.pinterest.com)

OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS we’ve been drilling the idea into your heads that housing affordability is becoming a growing crisis in Australia, but are we finally seeing the light to this continuing battle?

There is some good news! Although, rental prices have not become more regulated NOR has the Government done anything to provide us with more affordable houses, wages are indeed risen in comparison to a drop in rental prices.

Our wages have risen by almost 2.1 per cent over the past year whereas rent across the whole nation has dropped by 0.3 per cent.

  • Darwin recorded the biggest drop of 14.1 per cent
  • Perth’s rent dropped by 9.4 per cent
  • Brisbane’s rent dropped by 1.1 per cent
  • Adelaide 0.3 per cent

However, unfortunately, Sydney’s rent has not changed. BUT, rent is now 1.4 per cent lower than their peak in May 2015.

BUT, could this small change in rental affordability really be assisting millions of Australians as over 31 per cent of our population still rent properties and by raising our wages and dropping rental prices, renters are receiving more incentives and financial protection by renting.

With the growing introduction of new properties in to Australia, but not at affordable prices, are tenants being forced out of their current places in order to secure homes at more affordable prices causing tenants to lose income in the long-run due to vacant houses. Or are we really seeing some change in the housing affordability crisis?

Let us know your thoughts below!

All information can be found HERE

-Roof Us First

5 STEPS YOU MUST TAKE BEFORE MOVING IN

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(Image: lgihomesblog.com)

Introducing RENTAL WARS!

If you are renting a property in Australia, it is extremely important that not only must you protect the home you are going to rent in, but also YOURSELF! Sometimes, landlords “pretend” that they’re not obliged to fix that leaking roof before you move in, or might take your bond for leaving a dirty tissue behind.

BUT, if you take the following steps, you might be protecting yourself from further trouble.

1) DONTRENTME.COM

Check to see if the property you’re looking to rent is on the list of review! That way, you won’t have to even go to the open house.

2) LOOK OUT FOR TELL TALE SIGNS OF NEGLECT

  • Check out the garden
  • Is the shed toppling over?
  • Door frames rotting?
  • Windows broken?
  • Darker stains on the ceiling could be a leaking roof or possum excretions
  • Mould can be easily masked by painting over it
  • Talk with the previous tenants

3) INSPECT THE HOUSE

  • Take photos/videos of the house with your mobile phone – don’t forget the garden! Make sure you gather evidence if any structures such as garden sheds, falling fences, building waste, etc. is evident around your property!
  • Fill in the condition report

4) KEEP TRACK OF DEALINGS

  • Keep track of all your dealings with the real estate/landlord in writing
  • Stay firm in your communication
  • Know your rights and obligations as a tenant (Fair Trading Australia)
  • Report to a Tribunal in order to resolve any disptes

5) JOIN THE TENANTS UNION

  • Join the Tenants Union of your state
  • Contact your member of state parliament and report to them about the lack of protection for renters
  • Get Tenant Shield
  • Join the Tenant Rights Party – the political party that protects your rights as a tenant!

Don’t forget to check out Rental War’s blogs for more on how you can protect yourself a renter of Australia’s housing and let us know your terrible renting stories down below!

-Roof Us First