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Politicians Appear Unaware of Rental Crisis

I am increasingly astounded by the lack of awareness by the nation’s politicians of the greatest issue in the housing market today – the rental shortage crisis.

AND the way state and federal politicians are making decisions almost daily which will make the situation even worse.

At the recent federal election, there was no discussion about the dire shortage of places for renters to live and none of the major parties put forward any policies to deal with it.

I think it’s safe to assume that this is because they were unaware that there’s even a problem to be dealt with.

The rental shortage has been building for years and now, somewhat belatedly, media has realised there’s a story here.

So now there are major articles every day with strident headlines describing desperate people sleeping in cars and living in tents because they can’t find anywhere to live – right across Australia.

Yet, despite the appearance of these startling stories day after day, politicians at all levels of government are apparently still unaware there’s a problem.

I can’t recall a single politician at state or federal levels going public with comments about the rental shortage crisis – much less suggesting any remedies to the problem.

The only half-hearted measures that have been put forward have come a small number of local councillors in different parts of Australia who have complained that property owners renting their properties through short-term platforms like Airbnb are part of the problem and need to be pulled into line.

But no one in a state government or the federal government has even acknowledged there’s an issue to be faced, let alone presenting a solution.

In fact, the only policies put forward that would impact the rental market are all measures that would make the problem worse.

In several states, including Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, state politicians are suggesting changes to rental laws that will provide further discouragement to investors – which is why we have this shortage problem in the first place.

Queensland is going a step forward in implementing a massive new land tax grab which is causing investors to refuse to buy in the state and also causing existing owners of Queensland properties to sell up – which will make a dire rental shortage even worse in that state.

And, at a federal level, the new Federal Government is proposing to solve the shortage of workers in key industries by significantly lifting immigration.

I’ve seen PM Albanese and various cabinet ministers speaking enthusiastically about lifting the number of overseas migrants coming in – tens of thousands more people from overseas – and how this will be a great way to provide workers for Australian businesses.

But none of them have bothered to ask the very simple and obvious question:

Where are all these new people going to live?

With vacancies below 1% in virtually every postcode in Australia, existing residents can’t find a place to rent – at any price.

So, what chance would 50,000 new migrants to Australia have?

It’s farcical.

And, while our leaders are fiddling, rental supply is burning.

And, not surprisingly, rents are soaring.

So, the overall situation, in a nutshell, is this: right now, with vacancies at record lows and rents rising at rates not seen before, it’s a great time to be a landlord – except for the new state government policies that make it unattractive.

At the same time, this is the worse time in the nation’s history to be an individual or a family seeking a place to rent.

In many locations around Australia, there’s simply nothing available.

And, if something does come up, there will be a queue of 20 or 30 people at the Open House.

And only one of the 30 hopefuls will be successful. The other 29 will have to keep looking.

Meanwhile, the idiots who run state and federal governments continue to give the appearance that they are unaware that tens of thousands of their constituents are homeless.


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