Ripple effects: Exploring the longer-term impacts of the current rental crisis

The rental crisis in NSW has been at the forefront of public discussion for some time now. Even if you are not directly impacted, you would likely be aware of what’s going on: soaring rents, low vacancies, fierce competition for properties and an increasing number of individuals and families finding themselves without stable accommodation and/or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

Much has been discussed about these critical issues and VERTO’s Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Service (TAAS) is seeing increased demand for support across the areas they service. You can read more on the immediate impacts and the support available here.

In today’s blog, I want to explore the longer-term impacts of the crisis and how the ripple effects can reshape communities, economies and long-term social wellbeing.

Changing workforce mobility

One significant impact is the movement of low-to-middle-income earners from metropolitan areas or regional cities to outer suburbs or remote areas in search of affordable housing.

Workforce mobility may be drastically reduced. More expensive urban areas or regional cities may struggle to fill lower- and middle-income roles. And sadly, many of our most essential community workers may fall into these buckets, from nurses and paramedics to teachers and council maintenance workers.

Social wellbeing and mental health

The uncertainty and stress associated with housing insecurity can have significant health impacts. The strain of finding and maintaining an affordable tenancy can heighten mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, increasing demands on already overstretched community services.

Disruption to education and social networks

The impact can be far-reaching for families, too. Frequent relocation can disrupt schooling as children relocate to new school catchment areas. Moving schools repeatedly can affect academic performance and social relationships. This, in turn, can leave children and teens without the support networks that play a vital role in these formative years.

Social and community cohesion

As economic pressures push whole demographics out of an area, the social fabric of a community changes immeasurably. Immediately, individuals can become disconnected from their support networks, and in the longer term, it can significantly change the entire shape of the community, its resources and its infrastructure needs.

Contributing to intergenerational disadvantage

One of the most devastating impacts is that it can affect families for generations to come. Housing instability is a significant contributor to the poverty cycle. Parents who spend a disproportionate amount of their income on housing have less to spend on groceries, education and healthcare, with the potential to create flow-on effects for future generations.  

It’s an issue for us all

The rental crisis in NSW is not simply a ‘renters’ issue; it's a complex challenge with wide-ranging effects on individuals, communities and the broader society. Whether a person is a homeowner, has long-term secure housing, or is facing the current trials of the rental market, it’s an issue we all need to tackle together.

If you are a private tenant requiring advice or support to navigate your rights, VERTO’s Tenancy Advice and Advocacy Service (TAAS) may be able to assist. Get in touch on 1300 483 786 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..