parent opinion

'YO, Albo!! Help us out of this rental crisis already.'

Hey Albo, 

Hope you don’t mind us calling you by your nickname but starting this letter with “Dear Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister of Australia” sounds way too formal and we really need to talk, human to human. 

You’ve done some cool things in your time as PM already. Bringing in the largest number of women ever in an Australian cabinet was a great start to your term – especially as politics hasn’t had a history of being very welcoming to women

And earlier this year when you became the first PM to march in the Mardi Gras, that was another great move, too. Respect.

Watch Prime Minister Anthony Albanese march at Mardis Gras. Post continues below.

Video via Today show

And because you like to take actions that make big statements, we really need your help on this one. ASAP. 

We actually needed you to step in like, yesterday.

We already know that the rental crisis is very real. A few weeks ago, a report confirmed what many of us have already experienced: in Sydney alone, rental prices have increased by between 28 and 49 per cent. In the hardest-hit suburbs, the increases average an extra $6,300 per year in rent compared to a year ago.

Have our wages increased by that same amount? They definitely have not. It's gotten to the point that some people are having to choose between food and rent. 


It’s happening across the country, with another report showing that it’s the first time since 2009 that ALL capital cities are experiencing record rental prices.

But today’s news has pushed this dire situation over the edge. Anglicare’s Annual Rental Affordability Snapshot is out and the situation has hit all levels of f**ked up.

Out of the 45,895 rental listings in the country analysed over one weekend last month, only four of those were affordable for those of us who are single, in between jobs, and on JobSeeker. Yes, four. In the ENTIRE COUNTRY.

For single parents needing a safe and secure home for themselves and their child, only 0.1 per cent of those listings were affordable if they were on a Parenting Payment. 

For a family of four, with two parents earning a full-time minimum wage, only 15.9 per cent of rental listings were affordable.

As Anglicare reports: “The overall trends are alarming.”

So this, PM Albo, is an open letter on behalf of Aussie renters, asking that you chat with your team and finally do something. There's no more time to waste.

This letter is for the couple I know on a single income, with a five-month-old baby girl, whose rent has gone up by more than $100 to $1,000 a week for a small two-bedroom apartment in Sydney’s inner city. 

It’s for this 58-year-old woman in Perth, who was forced to leave her apartment to move into a friend’s place, because her upcoming rental increase of $70 to $420 per week would mean she’d have no money left over for essentials. It was that or living in her car.


This letter is for people like our editor, who feel they can’t even contemplate starting a family, because of the anxiety-filled market. As she says, “My partner and I and the theoretical baby could be turfed out to try to find another rental home in a situation that has become less a property market and more a fight to the death in the Octagon.” 

Listen to episode of The Quicky on the cost-of-living crisis. Post continues below.

We can write all the money-saving articles we like. Listen to all the financial podcasts. And read all the books. But none of that is going to make a dent. The issue is bigger than what us as individuals can do.

So please. Take a moment to read the recommendations by Anglicare. Look into implementing protections for renters that are consistent across the country. Raise JobSeeker payments above the poverty line. Step up your commitment to build more affordable housing through your proposed Housing Australia Future Fund.

And could you also have a chat with your Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers for us? His focus of "[moving] as many people as we can off that [JobSeeker] payment and into good, secure, well-paid jobs" is not the solution to this rental crisis. 

Let him know there are already people in good, secure, well-paid jobs who can’t afford their rent and are anxious about upcoming hikes. Rich kids are even getting their parents to buy them million-dollar homes these days because it’s cheaper than renting. If that's what the wealthy are doing, what hope does everyone else have?

Lizza Gebilagin is Mamamia's Head of Lifestyle. 

Feature Image: Getty Images/Mamamia

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