Renting for Life. This is a very real future for the current generation of young Australians facing an unforgiving housing market.
Skyrocketing housing costs, stagnant wages, lack of tenant protections, and relentless stress in the rental market are only the tip of the iceberg. This was just a short phase of their life for previous generations, a stepping stone to adulthood. But now Young Renters could be trapped in rentals for over a decade, some their entire lives.
Generation Rent is forming. The first generation of Australians where homeownership is no longer possible, where renting is the only affordable way to live in Australian cities, with the real threat of homelessness looming over them every day.
We need to dispel the myth that renting is a healthy, normal, rite of passage for young people, that is it okay for young people to live in poor quality, overcrowded housing with none of the support that is offered to older generations to obtain secure, affordable housing.
Learn more about this Social IssueHousing Stress
Generation Rent is a media tag used to describe the current generation of young Australians facing a future shut-out of homeownership. It typically refers to young people between the ages of 25-34, however, it can also refer to old Australians who are still trapped in private renting, and to all subsequent future generations of young people.
Homeownership rates for all age groups have been falling since the 1970's. 68% of 30-year-olds in 1970's owned a home, compared to only 50% in 2020, a 27% drop.
As parental wealth becomes a key determinant of future homeownership, families without wealth from home ownership cannot offer the same advantage to their children, entrenching disadvantage resulting in multiple generations being trapped in renting for life.
Generation Rent may be the first generation where the majority are locked out of homeownership, but without drastic changes, it won't be the last.
The Generation Rent Film will be a compendium of shared stories told by Young Renters. It's aim is to dispel the misconceptions around renting for young people, that it is a lifestyle choice, that they want to rent for life, that it offers freedom and flexibility.
This may be true for some high-income renters, low-income young renters face the highest rates of housing stress in NSW, regularly paying over 50% of their income towards rent.
They often face discrimination in the rental market, are considered undesirable tenants, risky, and a tenant of last resort. They may only be able to secure the poorest quality housing at a premium rent that is only affordable when shared between a larger group of housemates.
We want to share these stories to educate the older generations that renting is no longer a choice, sharing is not a choice, that living under constant stress is not a choice.
For years housing advocates have been trying to change the housing system for the better, for renters and homeowners alike. This is mostly directed to policymakers and political leaders. Their voice is incredibly important to show the history of how we got to this point, and what can be done to move forward to a better future.
This film will be created in collaboration with the peak advocacy groups for renters, Tenant's Union of NSW, young adults, Youth Action, and youth homelessness, yFoundations.
We will hear from experts and policy advocates on the history of the issue from different perspectives, the forces and factors that have led to this point, and the tangible solutions that can be implemented to improve the situation.
The Generation Rent Film will be a dual-format production.
The first format will be a traditional documentary feature film. It will be designed to be watched at a screening or home as a group, to spur conversation and debate. In particular, we want to generate health discussion of housing issues between young adults and their parents, the Baby Boomer Generation. They are often the greatest opposers to housing assistance and systemic reform, yet have children in the generation most in need of reform. We want to bridge this divide and try to find common ground and empathy.
The second format will be short video clips. These will be reformatted snippets from the interviews with Young Renters during the production process, distributed through social media channels with the hashtag #GenerationRent, and spurring viewers to share their own stories of renting. Through this format, we want to drive more media attention towards this issue as well as to the documentary film.
To be able to drive action, we must first change the current discourse around young people and renting. As long as the public still believes that it is okay for young people to rent in poor conditions, with unaffordable costs, and no support, that this is a reasonable rite of passage for all, leaders will not take action. The key lies in the divide of understanding between young and older Australians. The Generation Rent Film will attempt to bridge this divide by:
The next steps in developing this Design are:
If you are able to assist us in developing this Design, we would really appreciate you reaching out for a chat.