A hub to find a home

A Perth-based housing organisation is hoping to provide relief as households struggle to adjust to rising costs.

It comes as the Reserve Bank Australia has once again lifted the cash rate.

In attempt to combat Western Australia’s housing crisis Home Hub is working with landlords across non-for-profit and for-profit sectors.

Home Hub manager Iain Shields says the organisation is like a “Tinder for housing”.

“It’s a place for people with disabilities, mental health issues, or low income to go to when they need access to safe and affordable housing,” he says.

Mr Shields says he expects the rate increases to cause a “tsunami” of people seeking access to affordable housing by the end of this year.

“We have already had thousands of people accessing our service and the rate is rapidly increasing to the tens of thousands.”

Iain Shields started Home Hub to create a place where people can get better access to affordable housing. Photo: Chloe Maher.

Harken Finance mortgage broker Amber Nathan says when the RBA increases rates lenders have to match that amount, which results in an increase in home loans.

“Everyone first and foremost pays their mortgage because they don’t want their home taken from them, so they need to redirect where their funds are going to be pulled from.”

Ms Nathan says people’s living expenses will be impacted, so many are making sacrifices.

“Other than people having to just eat two-minute noodles and beans, cutting out those wants and going without just so people can afford to put food on the table and make their repayments is many people’s reality,” she says.

Listen to more from Amber Nathan.

Mr Shields says whether someone is a renter or a mortgagee all aspects of their lives are impacted when more than 30 per cent of their wage is going towards housing.

“You’re at risk of not being able to have three meals a day, accessing medication or getting to and from work or school,” he says.

Mr Shields says without affordable housing people are more at risk to becoming homeless.

“People on low to moderate incomes have told me they are living on beaches, telling their kids they’re on long term holiday when in reality, they are homeless.”

Iain Shields

Life Financial Advisors director Marijana Ravlich says people will be feeling the pinch after the latest raise.

She says budget reevaluation is key.

“First look at your budget, look at what your discretionary costs and necessarily spends are,” she says.

“You have to pay your car registration, rent and food but the type of food you buy you have some control over.”

For those with a mortgage, Ms Ravlich says a visit to the bank is necessary to get the right advice about the best rates.

“If the bank is offering lower rates to new customers, they can usually extend that to existing clients because they don’t want to lose business.”

Iain Shields says Home Hub is working on expanding its reach by working with the supply market to develop innovative housing solutions.

“We could be building more affordable housing and developing services and products to make housing more affordable where it benefits investors, agents, the government and above all, tenants.”

Iain Shields has been collecting data to better understand how much people can afford before they face financial hardship. Photo: Chloe Maher.

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