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The rise of the ‘working homeless’ in Australia as rents soar in housing supply crisis


The grim life of Australia’s new ‘working homeless’: Working woman forced to live in a tent as rents spiral out of control is beaten in the park

  • Growing number of ‘working homeless’ in Australia
  • Kerry lives in a tent despite his job as a jeweler

An increasing number of Australian ‘working homeless’ are forced to live on the streets and in makeshift tent villages as rents skyrocket across the country.

Kerry, in her 30s, rented a two-bedroom apartment for $1,200 a month in Sydney’s Waterloo just 12 months ago, but now lives in a tent in Enmore Park, where she was recently attacked by strangers.

“I’m in a bad situation, I was literally beaten up,” said the eloquent former administrative assistant 7News.

She had to move after falling ill, paying medical bills and medications, and has taken her cat and dog to the park.

“My best option right now is to take care of myself until I can pay rent again,” she said.

Kerry (pictured) is a former administrative assistant and still works as a jeweller, but has been forced to live in a tent amid skyrocketing rents and medical bills

She explained that she used to think of a homeless person as someone with “a little cardboard sign,” until she was forced to sleep despite her job as a jeweler.

“A lot of us don’t want government benefits because it’s a slippery slope… there are people who work or hope to work but they just can’t afford to rent,” she said. The Daily Telegraph.

Her simple green tent, set up under a tree in the park, is one of a growing number of tents, cars and vans appearing not only here, in Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Grayndler electorate, but also in parks in other capitals.

Property research firm Proptrack confirmed that rentals in Sydney for less than $400 a week have hit an all-time low – from 21 percent of all rentals to just 9 percent between 2020 and 2023.

The Albanian government is trying to get a $10 billion housing package through parliament, but local support organizations are calling for more urgent action.

Trina Jones of Homelessness NSW said more than 57,000 households are on the waiting list for short-term temporary accommodation, especially given Sydney’s chilly winter temperatures this week.

“Homelessness is just one bad situation away from everyone,” Kerry said.

Kerry was attacked while living in her tent

The modest tent in which she lives with her cat and dog

Kerry was ‘beaten up’ while living in her tent, where she also cares for her cat and poodle

The Inner West Council, of which Enmore Park is a part, told the paper they were concerned about the situation.

“Various agencies have been involved in visiting Enmore Park and dealing with people sleeping on the street. We are aware of it and it is distressing,” said a spokesman for the municipality.

A spokesman for Mr Albanese said the previous government had ‘failed’ to allow this to happen during its decade of running the country.

“The budget included an additional $67.5 million increase for homelessness funding to states and territories on top of the approximately $1.6 billion provided annually to states and territories for housing and homelessness through the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement” said the spokesman.

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