Everybody’s Home: National conversation about the housing crisis

Australia’s first People’s Commission into the Housing Crisis reveals the human toll of housing stress, with 58 percent of respondents struggling. Led by Professor Nicole Gurran from the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, and former Labor senator Doug Cameron, the commission hears from affected citizens today. Solutions are urgently needed to ease housing stress.

As housing affordability remains at crisis levels, Everybody’s Home has convened a People’s Commission to spotlight and trigger change for this top concern among Australians.

Today, Australia’s first People’s Commission into the Housing Crisis gets underway with submissions revealing the majority of respondents are in housing stress and forgoing the basics to cope.

The People’s Commission received more than 1,500 survey submissions which show:

· Three in five (58%) are in housing stress

· Three in four (76%) of renters are in housing stress

· The top ways people are coping with housing costs are by reducing energy use like heating or cooling their homes (52%), avoiding the doctor and essential appointments (45%), and reducing vehicle use (39%)

· One in three are skipping meals (32%) and/or relying on credit cards or buy now pay later (31%)

· Uncertainty about the future (67%) and increased housing costs (61%) are the top reasons for concern about the housing crisis.

Dozens of organisations have also lodged submissions to the People’s Commission.

Co-commissioners Professor Nicole Gurran and Doug Cameron will hear from parents, domestic violence survivors, essential workers, and younger and older people on day one of hearings.

Commissioner and University of Sydney housing expert Prof Nicole Gurran said: “For too long Australia’s housing policy paralysis has been sustained by dominant interests and ill-designed ‘solutions’ which have served only to maintain the status quo.”

I want to hear from the people most affected by decades of policy failure, to learn from their lived experience about real solutions to the immediate crisis and their priorities for long-term reform.

Professor Nicole Gurran

Commissioner and former Labor Senator for NSW Doug Cameron said: “Submissions to the People’s Commission into the Housing Crisis reveal the human cost of decades of failed policy.

“Distressed Australians have told us of their harrowing experiences battling an unaffordable housing system and their ideas to fix it. Governments, academics, economists and organisations that deal on a daily basis with the fall out of the failed housing system have advised of their views and actions. Australians want and need solutions that work. The evidence before the People’s Commission adds further momentum for governments to act.”

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Maiy Azize said: “This crisis is engulfing people from every part of society. Moving back in with their parents or children, being priced out of their communities, and abandoning the prospect of marriage and kids are just some of the impacts we’re hearing about.

“The People’s Commission into the Housing Crisis is shining a light on one of the greatest problems of our time and giving people a platform to share their stories and solutions. It is incumbent on state and federal governments to listen and act.”

A final report that includes key findings is expected mid-year.

/University Release. View in full here.