Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tenancy Culture Studies: I'm interested in apathy

The Institute of Tenancy Culture Studies returns with a quick look at TISM's song "I'm interested in apathy". There's a clever irony in the title (perhaps you spotted it?) which really gives us something to think about.

In a couple of recent-ish articles about Australia's housing system, and the way it leaves first home buyers (aka tenants) behind, economist Saul Eslake has said:
"I'm surprised there isn't more anger among young people about the way in which the housing system has been rigged against them by their parents" (SMH 5/4/14)
"In some ways I'm surprised there isn't more anger among young people about how the housing market has advantaged older people" (AFR 27/9/14)
It's something that occurs to us as well. But are we really as relaxed and comfortable as all that?

Does Australia's housing system make you angry? Does it make you burn with resentment for those wealthy enough to buy, or at least canny enough to buy before it became impossible? Are you merely resigned to a new reality, where owning a home is little more than an aspirational flight-of-fancy for people on extravagant incomes?

Or are you simply not concerned?

In a survey we conducted earlier in the year, we asked tenants in New South Wales to tell us why they rent. 57% of our respondents said it was because they couldn't afford to buy. By comparison, 15% said they were happy to rent because it was cheaper than buying where they wanted to live.

We also asked tenants if they were satisfied with their current housing, and 68% said they were. In the same survey, 92% said they'd worry about finding another place to rent if the landlord asked them to move.

... and worry they should. Because in New South Wales your landlord can ask you to move without giving you any reason at all.

And if that doesn't make you just a little bit angry, then we don't know what will.

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