Students and young people are barely holding on during the current rental crisis, with dozens of young people taking to Sydney streets to protest what they say is a lack of action from the major parties.
One student revealed that he and his flatmates had their rent increased from $550 to $780 in a single hike, a 42 per cent increase.
“My share of that has gone from $150 to $250, it’s been pretty rough,” Theo Mangos told NCA Newswire.
The UNSW computer science student and his flatmates were forced to choose between their vermin-riddled Maroubra property and living on the streets.
Around 50 students marched through Martin Place calling for action on skyrocketing rental prices. Picture: Eli Green / NCA NewswireTheo Mangos addressed the crowd as he saw the price of his rental property increase 40 per cent. Picture: Eli Green / NCA Newswire
“It’s s***, there’s rats, cockroaches, mould, it’s really abysmal but it’s just the market,” he said.
“We stayed because we didn’t want to become homeless.”
The cost of renting a property in Australia has gone up by 10.2 per cent in the past year to reach a median of $555 per week, according to CoreLogic.
The situation is worse in Sydney, where prices have increased by 11.4 per cent with the median rent now costing $679 per week in the Emerald City.
That’s partly driven by low vacancy rates, with only 1.3 per cent of residential rentals currently listed on the market in Sydney.
The group considered leaving the unit, where their landlord “ghosts” them if they contact them about problems with the property, after seeing how tight competition is for rentals.
The group marched from NSW Parliament through Martin Place. Picture: Eli Green / NCA Newswire
“We thought about going out and leaving and we actually went to a bunch of inspections but it’s just actually impossible,” Mr Mangos said.
“Everywhere we go there’s like 60 people, there’s families with full-time jobs and we’re students making minimum wage.”
Sydney is at a “crisis point”, according to Summer Hill Greens candidate for Saturday’s NSW election Izabella Antoniou, who spoke at the protest.
“There are lines down the block just to wait to inspect unsuitable, untenable, unliveable apartments riddled with issues like mould and that’s just the start,” she said.
Greens candidate for Summer Hill Izabella Antoniou spoke to the crowd. Picture: Eli Green / NCA Newswire
“International students pitching tents in share house living rooms.”
Ms Antoniou said she had also been affected.
“I myself have been rent hiked by tripled figures, I had a 28 per cent rent hike just before Christmas this year. I’ve dealt with pest infestations, maintenance issues just not being sorted,” she said.
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Mr Mangos said he did not believe that either major party was effectively dealing with soaring rental prices.
“They’ve just kind of fuelled this crisis by selling off public housing and building … while they’re investing like $300 billion into some submarines, it seems really stupid to me and it’s not helping at all.”
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