Housing stress and homelessness worse in regional Australia

homelessness in regional australiaA Salvation Army report has found nearly 70 per cent of the charity’s clients are experiencing extreme housing stress, prompting calls for poverty to become a key election issue.

The Salvos have surveyed 1,600 clients, with the results showing that 68 per cent of respondents are using nearly two-thirds of their disposable income on housing, placing them in extreme housing stress.

The charity’s fifth annual Economic and Social Impact Survey identified those in regional areas as being particularly vulnerable.

Salvation Army spokesman Major Bruce Harmer said the problem needed more attention from the country’s politicians.

“We need our politicians at all levels to partner with us so we can improve the lot of so many Australians doing it tough,” he said.

“There’s a big impact on kids, with some 40 per cent saying they’d moved houses three times in 12 months.

“You know what kind of impact that having is on the education of those children?”

The survey also found that 86 per cent of clients went without basic items at times, and only one in five could afford medical treatment or medicine for their children.

Major Harmer said the results were disheartening.

“To think that kids are going without medication because Mum and Dad simply can’t afford to buy it,” he said. To read more click here.

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