Rising cost of living pressures and low rental availability has been a roadblock for Australians in finding affordable housing.
But the issues are worse if you are Indigenous.
A study published last year by Swinburne University found Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were facing discrimination and are disproportionately feeling the effects of rising cost of living.
Dr Andrew Peters helped conduct the study.
“If there are issues with people renting houses then their certainly going to and possibly disproportionately effect Aboriginal people too, because we are at the bottom rungs of a lot of these indicators in terms of income, employment, education,” Dr Peters said.
He says the study shows First Nations renters are facing added discrimination in the housing market.
“A number of Aboriginal people reported feeling ostracised, some reported as soon as they walked into a real estate agent they could tell they weren’t going to be a preferred tenant.
Some real estate agents reported that there were instructed by their clients, so the landlords, to prioritise non Indigenous people.
It wasn’t everyone we spoke to that this was happening but certainly enough to indicate that there is an issue in terms of that systemic problem.”
Dr Peters says a disconnect between Aboriginal housing orginisations and landlords are making the issues worse.
“The Aboriginal support orgnisations, that support housing and welfare for Aboriginal people, they’re a bit disconnected from real estate agents who are disconnected from tenants.
We just need to find a way that the whole system becomes better connected.”
He says the disconnect is rooted in colonisation.
“We need to find ways to provide education for Aboriginal People, and this is not placing the blame on Aboriginal people at all, this is just again a product from the last 200 years of colonisation, Aboriginal people being disconnected particularly from the capitalist economy.
And we need to find ways for both of these things to come together, certainly the way that some of our markets within capitalism are very exclusionary of people who don’t have money.
So people with lower wealth on lower incomes, they suffer the most from a lot of things in our society.
As I’ve said before Aboriginal people are over represented in that cohort, so things like paying rent and these things become more exacerbated in terms of being a daily problem then we see in other cultural groups.”
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