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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Rental crisis hits home

Rental prices for homes in the Copper Coast region have surged by approximately 25 percent over the past year, exacerbating what advocacy groups are calling a housing crisis and leaving many renters grappling to secure affordable accommodation.

According to the latest PropTrack data, average rental rates in Moonta Bay have skyrocketed by over 30 percent, reaching $395 per week by February. However, despite the high demand, only a handful of properties were available for lease, while over 100 prospective tenants were actively searching for long-term housing solutions.

Similarly, rental prices have soared in Wallaroo by more than 23 percent to $340 and in Kadina by about 21 percent to $345. Unfortunately, due to insufficient housing availability, accurate rental data for other towns on the Yorke Peninsula is unavailable.

Dr. Rebecca Tooher, acting chief executive of the South Australian Council of Social Services (SACOSS), expressed deep concern over the relentless surge in rental prices, a trend observed over the past decade but exacerbated in the last two years. She emphasized the urgent need for increased construction of new homes to alleviate the housing shortage and provide relief to renters facing limited options.

SACOSS recently submitted proposals to the state budget, advocating for measures such as expanding public housing and reforming Stamp Duty to support first-home buyers in entering the market.

Dr. Alice Clark, executive director of Shelter SA, echoed Dr. Tooher’s sentiments, emphasizing the need for innovative housing solutions for low-income earners. She highlighted the overcrowding in caravan parks and the distribution of tents and swags to those unable to secure permanent housing, reflecting the alarming rise in homelessness.

Amidst these challenges, Shelter SA is pushing for legislative changes to peg rent increases to the inflation rate, preventing landlords from hiking prices excessively. Additionally, they advocate for the development of affordable housing communities with shared amenities to cater to diverse housing needs.

A recent survey by Shelter SA revealed the prevalence of no-cause evictions and short-term leases, further exacerbating housing instability. Renter Lisa Weetra shared her struggle to find suitable accommodation for herself and her children, highlighting the uncertainty faced by many renters in the region.

As the housing crisis persists, advocacy groups continue to call for urgent action to address the shortage and provide stable housing options for all residents.

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