Thousands of West Australians could be pushed to the brink of homelessness within three months when a moratorium prohibiting rent increases expires, one of the state’s leading homelessness support groups warns. Source: ABC News.
Amid record-high rental demand across the state, Anglicare WA fears the expiration of the McGowan Government’s moratorium could see a spike in average rent prices — potentially beyond the reach of many already struggling to make payments.
The Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA) has described the situation in regional and metropolitan areas as a “crisis” with the lowest levels of rental availability ever seen.
Anglicare WA chief executive Mark Glasson said he was worried the state would see increased levels of insecure housing and homelessness.
The Government’s moratorium on rent increases was introduced in April 2020, amid fears of an economic downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially planned for six months, it was later extended until March 28 this year.
Mr Glasson warned WA renters face tough times if rental price predictions of up to 20 per cent were correct.
He warned almost 15,000 West Australians were on a waiting list for public housing, a figure he said could conceivably grow by 10 to 15 per cent – or about 2,000 people – if rental predictions were accurate.
Mr Glasson called on the Government to increase its investment in social housing to alleviate demand.
A Government spokesperson said it was not considering an extension to the moratorium or implementing a “soft” exit to slow the predicted spike in rental prices.
Homelessness crisis looms as Western Australia’s coronavirus rental moratorium due to expire (By Toby Hussey, ABC News)