Soaring rents fuel city’s poverty crisis

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MELBOURNE’S rental crisis has become so extreme that some low-income families have to sacrifice necessities to keep a roof over their heads.

While low-income tenants are being hit hardest, rising rents are also making it harder for average income earners to make ends meet. The median weekly rent in the metropolitan area reached $340 in March, up 5 per cent in the past year, according to the Office of Housing.

The median weekly rents for a one-bedroom flat, a two bedroom house and a four bedroom house are $280, $350 and $380, respectively.

Low-income households — including students, pensioners, single parents and families on the minimum wage — are spending more than 75 per cent of their income on rent, according to a new report from the Tenants Union of Victoria. About a quarter of Australian households rent.

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