A new report shows the housing crisis is making it harder for jobseekers to find work, the Greens said today.
Greens housing spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the report released today by Australians for Affordable Housing made clear that the lack of affordable housing in Australia is entrenching disadvantage.
"Unless the affordable housing crisis is tackled as an urgent national priority, it will continue to trap Australians in poverty. Not only do high rents make it harder to afford the training or education that would boost the chance of getting a job, they are forcing people to live further and further away from areas with good employment prospects.
"The report found it is particularly expensive to live near areas with jobs suitable for someone re-entering the workforce, making the situation dire for jobseekers and single parents trying to get off Newstart."
Senator Ludlam said urban planning reform would deliver much more affordable housing close to centres of economic activity.
"Our Transforming Perth plan shows we can deliver as many as 250,000 new homes within Perth's metro area - in areas close to jobs and public services. The urban planning principles in that plan could be adapted to suit any Australian city or regional centre. And our Convert To Rent initiative would see the many thousands of empty properties in the country converted into renovated low-cost rentals. These are the kinds of initiatives all parties and levels of governments should be embracing to help Australians seeking work."
Greens families and community services spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said the report was one of many that showed "people on Newstart are facing numerous barriers to finding work that the system isn't helping them overcome".
"A $50 per week increase to Newstart is important for helping people afford the important day to day expenses they face like rent, food and utilities. The Greens plan to increase Newstart by $50 per week and provide a supplement of $40 per week for single parents will help people deal with the cost of living.
"The old parties are ignoring the plight of people on Newstart and seem to think punishing people is the best way to get them into work. This serves only to keep people in poverty and making it harder for them to be able to afford appropriate accommodation," said Senator Siewert.
Convert To Rent - http://www.greens.org.au/sites/greens.org.au/files/Convert_to_rent.pdf
Transforming Perth - http://greenswa.net.au/sites/default/files/transformingperth.pdf