Almost half of people in Brunswick rent, and for many people, this makes sense. You may be a student, living in the area while saving for a house elsewhere or you may move a lot for work – or your own home might be just too much financially at this time. The increased number of renters is a huge change from the Australia of 20 years ago, but our systems and laws are stuck in the past. Laws today don’t balance the rights of renters and landlords, and reduce renters’ quality of life.
People also need the opportunity to own their own, secure home – but we all know this is increasingly unaffordable for many people in the community. If you don’t come from a wealthy family, or or don’t earn lots of money, it can feel like owning a home is increasingly out of reach. Like many parents, I worry my kids will have to choose between living in Melbourne or having a home of their own far from their chosen community.
Housing is not simply a commodity to buy and sell like a bar of chocolate – it’s crucial to many people’s sense of safety and belonging. The Labor and Liberal parties haven’t done what they need to because they’re too close to investors and property speculators. They’ve forgotten that most Australians just want somewhere to live.