Mr Maddocks said it was concerning to see an increasing number of people who were not among the agency’s traditional client base seeking support to access housing, such as teachers, nurses and other skilled and professional workers hoping to move to the regions, but unable to secure affordable homes for rent.
“We have to focus our services on the most vulnerable people in our community to protect their welfare, but the challenges people relocating for employment are facing is a sign of how tough the market is, making it harder than ever for people reliant on low incomes to afford to rent or move towards home ownership,” he said.
“The issue is affecting an increasing number of people as availability of affordable housing diminishes in regional areas.”
ac.care is calling for greater investment in emergency accommodation, including funding to place more people with nowhere else available in short-term arrangements with motels and other providers for longer where necessary, as well as packages to support innovative solutions, such as developments to specifically meet the needs of vulnerable people, including those experiencing homelessness, and address affordable housing shortages.
The agency is also calling for increased maintenance and expansion of social housing, reduction in stamp duty for property sales and greater funding for drug, alcohol and mental health services, along with increased support for social welfare agencies to help meet growing needs in regional communities.
“We urge voters to ensure housing affordability and availability is an important issue at the election and consider what the parties and candidates are proposing to address this unprecedented situation,” Mr Maddocks said.