Housing experts warn renters will be left in the cold after rate rises

Two property academics have warned that Australian renters could be forced out of their homes if more is not done to help improve housing affordability.
Rising interest rates and the climbing cost-of-living has the housing experts from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology concerned that without government intervention, more renters will end up homeless.

“The plight of renters looks set to worsen as the knock-on effects of rising interest rates filter through to renters and combine with cost-of-living pressures,” Senior Research Fellow Dr Megan Nethercote said.

The academics are worried renters will have to move out of their home. (Supplied / Domain)

“With almost half of renters on rental assistance already in rental stress, the risk of some renters falling into homelessness is real and high.”

She said rising costs would likely mean some renters would lose their homes as landlords sold the properties.

Research Fellow Dr. Louise Dorignon added that rent prices being increased could force others, particularly those in private rentals, out of their homes.

The experts have pushed for stronger national leadership on how rental properties are built and operated.

“Renters deserve homes that are affordable, provide adequate security of tenure, are well-maintained and have appropriate provisions for tenant representation,” Dr Nethercote said.

She said meeting the needs of renters warranted “serious deliberation within a new national housing agenda.”

Rent prices are set to increase as landlords pass on their rising costs. (9News)

Dr Nethercote said purpose-built rental accommodation could help the situation by increasing the number of rentals, while Dr Dorignon has suggested that rental properties need to be constructed better to help renters keep their costs down.

“It is also often the same households who lack the funds to thermally improve their homes to reduce their electricity and gas bills,” she said.

“Better designing and building homes so they are affordable, durable, and energy-efficient could help alleviating the risk of rental affordability stress in the future.”

“The apartment stock does not provide sufficient quality to meet the needs of current and future households.

“We need to transition to alternative and innovative modes of housing production, such as using less carbon-intensive materials, which would create more liveable apartment homes and in the long term, more affordable ones for households.”

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