$350 a week for Melbourne ‘prison cell’

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A Melbourne student apartment has been dubbed a $350 per week “prison cell” after grim photos of the tiny room were posted online.

The $1391 per month rental at 500 Flinders Street was shared on Facebook as a lease transfer, touted as being next to the tram and “walking distance to everywhere”.

Facilities include “queen bed size, open wardrobe, sofa and television, kitchen and microwave, electric kettle, single electric fridge, bathroom with shower, ceiling fan and heater (common)” and common coin-operated washing (“$3 coin”) and drying machines.

Photos of the dingy room, with exposed brick walls and concrete flooring, attracted hundreds of comments on Reddit.

“Is it better to just go to prison? At least no need to pay rent?” one person asked.

“A prison cell has more room,” another wrote.

The room was dubbed a ‘prison cell’. Picture: FacebookThe room was dubbed a ‘prison cell’. Picture: Facebook‘A prison cell has more room.’ Picture: Facebook‘A prison cell has more room.’ Picture: Facebook

“Spacious apartment fits a double bed, wall-to-wall concrete flooring, ceiling fan and plenty of artificial light. Suitable for a family of six with an abundance of space for kids to play,” one joked.

Another added, “Trendy industrial aesthetic.”

It comes as Australia is gripped by a historic rental crisis, with record low vacancy rates and skyrocketing rents smashing low-income earners.

The national vacancy rate remained at 0.8 per cent in April for the fourth consecutive month, according to Domain.

Anglicare Australia’s Rental Affordability Snapshot this month examined thousands of properties listed for rent in a single weekend in March or April and measured whether they are affordable for different income brackets.

This year’s snapshot found only 45,895 property listings across the whole of Australia, the lowest number ever seen in the report’s history.

Some said the building was notorious. Picture: FacebookSome said the building was notorious. Picture: Facebook‘Full of meth heads and criminals,’ one claimed. Picture: Facebook‘Full of meth heads and criminals,’ one claimed. Picture: Facebook

Of those properties, only 345 could be afforded by a person earning a full-time minimum wage.

“The poor and mid-earners are getting f**ked everywhere we turn. It’s absolutely unbelievable what sh*t has come to,” one Reddit user said.

Another wrote, “Not high enough. Albo needs to ramp up immigration more. Push it up to $400.”

Several people said the building was notorious and “like something out of a horror movie”.

“Spent a few months living at 500 in the early 2000s, it was a hole then and doesn’t look like it’s improved,” one said.

“I used to live in that building 20+ years ago. It wasn’t the best but it was cheap and convenient. You could hear the bass of the nightclubs on the weekend,” another said.

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According to this week’s federal budget, the arrival of 1.5 million migrants is set to contribute to the already increasing housing shortage across the country and is expected to drive up rents and increase real estate prices.

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