NEWS – Thursday 4 June, 2020
If you’re already struggling to pay the mortgage, home renovations are an unattainable luxury. There’s a stark contrast between the hundreds of thousands of people scraping together a $2000 mortgage payment (the average in an outer urban growth area) and someone who has access to $150,000 for a renovation.
Helping people already under mortgage stress to keep their homes is the priority in Australia’s outer urban growth areas. Half of all households in the outer suburbs are already experiencing mortgage stress, with more than 300,000 lower income families at particular risk of mortgage default. Then there are the 400,000 households who are renting in growth areas, along with the families in desperate need of social housing.
We are facing mortgage defaults at a catastrophic scale in the outer suburbs, as existing financial stress is compounded by job losses and the looming end of JobKeeper payments and mortgage repayment holidays, amidst our first recession in 29 years.
Extending the JobKeeper and improved JobSeeker payments and prioritising local employment and infrastructure projects in outer suburbs where 5 million people live, will help vulnerable Australians maintain their mortgage payments and keep a roof over their heads.
The Government’s HomeBuilder program offering one-off cash payments to eligible owner-occupiers and first home buyers will help support the residential construction industry, a vital part of the growth areas economy. But is providing sectoral support through cash incentives for renovations up to $750,000 really a higher priority than addressing the shortage of social and affordable housing?
Sixteen of the top 20 areas for mortgage stress are in Australia’s outer urban growth areas around our major capital cities. Many of these areas are already disadvantaged with higher rates of unemployment than the rest of Australia, fewer vital services like public transport and hospitals, and less access to local jobs, education and training opportunities.
The NGAA represents Councils from outer urban growth areas around Australia’s major cities, home to more than 5 million people. www.ngaa.org.au
Bronwen Clark, Executive Officer
0448 401 257
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