​Wollongong Homeless Hub 'gazumped' by property investors

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale with Wollongong Homeless Hub manager Julie Mitchell. Mr Di Natale believes the service needs more government support. Picture: Agron Latifi
SHOW OF SUPPORT: Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale with Wollongong Homeless Hub manager Julie Mitchell. Mr Di Natale believes the service needs more government support. Picture: Agron Latifi

The latest Anglicare rental affordability snapshot painted a ‘’bleak’’ picture for the Illawarra.

But the ‘’concerning figures’’ showing that less than one per cent of rental properties in the Illawarra are affordable for families in the Illawarra, did not come as a shock to Wollongong Homeless Hub manager Julie Mitchell.

‘’It’s not a shock at all because we are doing property searches everyday for single people on Newstart and we are finding it is impossible to break into the market,’’ Mrs Mitchell said.

‘’If you are a single parent with children, especially with one child, your affordability is just out the window, there’s nothing for that and the prices are just going up.

‘’We used to be able to find a one-bedroom property for $150 [a week]. Now they want $250. That’s just impossible for people.’’

Mrs Mitchell has also been ‘’priced out of the market’’ in efforts to purchase a property for a men’s refuge in Wollongong.

‘’I’m trying to buy a property so we can turn it into a refuge for the single males but I’m going up against investors in Sydney….that’s how I got gazumped,’’ she said.

I’m going up against investors in Sydney….that’s how I got gazumped.

Julie Mitchell

Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale said the reason investors were able to outbid Mrs Mitchell was because they get a massive big tax concession in the form of negative gearing as well as tax concessions.

‘’I’m staggered to learn that here in Wollongong, if you are a single homeless man, there is no crisis accommodation. Thank goodness for services like the Homeless Hub because without it people would be out on their ass,’’ Mr Di Natale said.

The Greens leader added during his visit in Wollongong on Saturday, that homelessness was a major issue and governments needed to invest in more services.

‘’There’s no excuse for a country like Australia to provide crisis accommodation for every person who needs it when they need it,’’ he said.

‘’And when it comes to housing affordability, our policy is anyone who buys a property from this point should not be allowed to negative gear their home. We are one of the few countries in the world that makes it easier for somebody to buy their third, or fourth or fifth property then to buy their first.

‘’The capital gains tax discount should also be abolished for all housing.’’

This story ​Wollongong Homeless Hub 'gazumped' by property investors first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.