Discussion series shows long-term challenges for ‘Generation Rent’

More than a quarter of all Australian households are private renters, with the sector growing at twice the rate of all households between 2006 and 2016. On the 4th of June in Sydney and the 11th of June in Adelaide, AHURI held two Discussion Series events on the future of renting: Opportunities and challenges.

Domain’s Eliza Owen, who will be facilitating the NHC session on Generation Rent, sat on the panel of the Sydney session along with leaders in the private and community sectors.

Eliza Owen presenting at TEDxYouth Sydney.

Eliza is a property analyst for Domain and a permanent resident of Sydney, where she said there has become an acquiescence towards renting among her generation. Her popular Ted Talk intended to give peers a toolkit with which to join the conversation on the generation gap in housing affordability.

Eliza took a long-term view of this issue at the event, saying that “a great concern that I have is the role of home ownership in retirement. Australian retirement systems are built on the assumptions that Australians will own a home.”

Speakers from Sydney Discussion Series

“If you are in retirement and still paying rent, you are earning a lower income than you have over the course of your life – that’s a great concern,” she said.

Her co-panelists agreed that multiple stages of life Australians are now at risk of housing stress, or being put below the poverty line after paying rent. The Sydney panel and audience posed the following; how are we going to create a person-centred housing system? What income do you need after paying for shelter to live a good life?

“There is a lot of implications now that more households are renting and perhaps policy is not keeping up with the long-term needs of affordable rental tenancy,” said Eliza.

Overall, a call for more funding from governments and finance from the private sector was positioned as one of the largest needs for social housing. It was agreed that we need more discussion between the sectors, an increase in the quality and supply of housing stock and a recognition of the long-term impact of Australians being stuck in the private rental space.

Both Discussion Series events were recorded and the audio is available online here.

Eliza Owen will facilitate Generation Rent, one of the major sessions of #NHCDarwin in August 2019. View the full NHC program here.

This session is sponsors by Cbus:

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