Lack of housing is costing the Sunshine Coast millions, affecting health and jobs

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Chronic underinvestment in social and affordable housing by successive federal governments costs the Sunshine Coast millions of dollars each year due to social and economic impacts and will increase over the next decade unless drastic measures are taken. taken.

Social and affordable housing is a key topic in this federal election, as housing shortages and a tight rental market are forcing many long-time Sunshine Coast families to become homeless or relocate.

Associate Professor Andi Nygaard of Swinburne University of Technology has completed a study titled Consequence of Inaction: Social and Economic Losses from the Shortage of Social and Affordable Housing.

It has quantified for the first time which communities have missed out the most from a lack of investment in social housing.

The study found that the current total cost of the affordable housing shortage on the Sunshine Coast is $16.5 million per year, rising to $27.2 million per year by 2036 if underinvestment in social and affordable housing continues.

The researchers took into account:

● public sector cost (health cost associated with homelessness and stress/depression)

● health and justice system costs associated with domestic violence,

● private sector costs associated with stress/depression,

● diploma of private studies,

● decrease in disposable income, and

● welfare values.

Everybody’s Home national spokeswoman Kate Colvin said individual communities bear the cost of substandard investments.

“Our current housing policies are totally perverse and we are all paying the price,” she says.

“Australia is one of a handful of the wealthiest countries in the world, but our housing policies are so lopsided that we are making people sick or forcing them to live in violence.

“Each year, for example, an estimated 7,690 women return to abusers because they have nowhere to go, and an estimated 9,120 women are left homeless.

“This is a social and economic time bomb that can only be defused by investing in adequate social and affordable housing.”

Dr Nygaard says the shortage of social and affordable housing imposes significant and aggravating costs on Australian society.

“These costs cannot be ignored. The social and economic problems associated with our shortage of affordable housing will only increase over the next decade if we continue to do what we have been doing – very little,” says Dr Nygaard.

“Without additional investment, communities will come under tremendous strain on homeless shelters, police, hospitals and other public services.

“Households will have less to spend on the welfare and education of children. Employers may also feel the cost of increased absenteeism.”

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