Rent increases in Northern Territory public housing create financial stress

15 August 2018
Kaye Broadbent

Waiting lists for public housing are increasing nationally, and the stock of housing has dropped in the past 15 years.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 190,000 households nationally are on public housing waiting lists.

With many households juggling paying bills, rent and food, the Northern Territory government recently announced it would increase public housing rents. From October, rents will increase annually.

The cost of living in the Northern Territory is already high, and rents have been pushed up by the boom in construction and resource projects. Affordable housing is out of reach for many in the territory, yet there is an eight-year waiting list for public housing.

Peter McMillan from NT Shelter told the ABC that 3,000 territory families suffer rental stress, including one in four low to moderate income households.

Amy Howard and her two teenage daughters are only one struggling household. She told the ABC, “I was living out of my car, one of my girls had to sleep on a friend’s couch, the bills kept piling up and I couldn’t sleep because of the stress”.

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