Australia is in the midst of a rental and housing crisis but latest figures reveal some are more affected than others. With the challenges of inflation and the rising cost of living, data suggests homelessness mostly affects those aged 18 to 30.

LJ Hooker property manage Lisa Wallace said unethical behaviour from landlords is contributing to the homelessness crisis.

“Some landlords and real estate agents are even unethically evicting tenants on a 90-day-notice without grounds so that they can re-advertise the property at a higher rent,” Ms Wallace said.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), people aged 18 to 30 are the most likely to be categorised as homeless operational groups. The ABS states homelessness operational groups extend to “people living in improvised dwellings, tents, or sleeping out; people in supported accommodation; people staying temporarily in other households; people living in boarding houses; people living in other temporary lodgings; people living in ‘severely’ crowded dwellings.”

The most prominent age group for “people living in ‘severely’ crowded dwellings,” was 18 to 30 year olds. The ABS data shows 1,272 18 to 30 year olds lived in ‘severely’ crowded dwellings in 2021.

Operational Group by Brianna Movrin

Ms Wallace said increased rental prices have contributed to homelessness.

“The rental market price has increased … four bedroom houses advertised for $850 per week,” Ms Wallace said.

“(Landlords) increasing the weekly rent to help cover the rising costs of owning an investment property.”

Among those facing the brunt of the renting and homelessness crisis are students. Jiaan Tripodi, 21, was a student at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst who rented during her study. Ms Tripodi said although living in a regional area seemed easier than students living in cities, she still felt financial pressure.

“I had to allocate more of my money to rent and had to cut some corners financially while on month-long placements… shopping at Aldi instead of Woolworths and getting a second job,” Ms Tripodi said.

Design by Brianna Movrin

The Illawarra region is also struggling with rent and homelessness.

According to the ABS, in the Illawarra region Wollongong was the worst affected area, with 2,438 people seeking homelessness assistance in 2023, an increase of 139 people in 12 months.

Region Illawarra reveals the Illawarra’s rental prices have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. In the Illawarra, rental prices are “are still up a third compared to pre pandemic prices.” Additionally the overall average increase for properties in the Illawarra was approximately 4 percent.

For people aged 18 to 30 in the Illawarra, and beyond, the rental and homelessness crisis is a looming reality.