ECEC professionals being priced out of their communities, new report finds
The Sector > Workforce > ECEC professionals being priced out of their communities, new report finds

ECEC professionals being priced out of their communities, new report finds

by Freya Lucas

April 13, 2023
A statue holds up a sign reading "sale or lease"

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals have been named as one of the core professional groups being “priced out” of their communities due to soaring rents in a new report from national housing campaign Everybody’s Home.


As well as ECEC employees essential workers in aged care, hospitality, postal, meat packing and freight are among the hardest hit, spending around two thirds of their income on housing.


The ‘Priced Out’ report compares data on rents against the award wages for 15 essential worker categories, finding that since March 2020, essential workers have lost an average of six hours from their weekly income to rent increases. That is an average of 37 days each year.


Those on the lowest awards would be left with around $20 a day after paying rent, based on the capital city average, the findings note, also showing the rising cost of rent means essential workers in single households are likely to be in serious financial stress, while those in coupled homes are probably financially dependent on their partner’s income. 


“More and more essential workers are being pushed into serious rental stress,” said Everybody’s Home spokesperson Maiy Azize. 

“Virtually no region in Australia is affordable for our aged care workers, early childhood carers, cleaners, nurses and many other essential workers we rely on.”


“So many essential industries are facing workforce shortages with workers unable to afford to stay or move to parts of the country where these shortages are at their worst.”


Everybody’s Home is calling for ‘serious action’ from the Federal Government saying the tax system is rigged against renters, driving up the cost of rent for millions of Australians. 


On top of that, the spokesperson continued, Australia has a huge shortfall of social homes for people who can’t afford rent.


“The Federal Government must start building 25,000 social homes every year to end our shortfall. That will help workers in severe rental stress, and free up affordable rentals for everyone else. The government can fund those social homes by winding back handouts for investors and landlords.”


“Australia is on the precipice of a social housing cliff with more and more workers teetering on the edge,” added CFMEU National Secretary Zach Smith. 


“This important report is hard evidence of exactly what we hear every day from our members. Housing costs are the razor-sharp point of a cost-of-living spear being driven into Australian workers.”


“We are at a pivotal moment. This is an incredible opportunity to address a massive crisis while also creating thousands of good jobs which help the country through commitments on training, safety and procurement.”


Access the report here. 

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