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How rising temperatures, energy costs and rising rents are hitting renters

Key Point
  • A humble house becomes like an ‘oven’, with indoor temperatures exceeding 51 degrees in a single house during the summer.
  • Some rely on portable air conditioners to double their utility bills and save on essentials.
  • Better Renting is calling on governments to take steps to keep renters safe as temperatures, energy costs and rents rise.
The combined stress of rising housing costs, utility bills, and summer heat in substandard housing is taking its toll on renters physically and mentally.
a Tenants are enduring unhealthy temperatures in smelly and moldy homes, according to a study released Thursday.

“Hell” was a common description of their home during the summer months.

Some said they felt “cooked from above” as the heat radiated downwards through the uninsulated ceiling.
Using a portable air conditioner has doubled my electricity bill and reduced my food, rent, and essential medicine costs.

Future summers are likely to be hotter, with heat waves more frequent, more severe, and longer lasting.

Governments can respond by introducing minimum energy efficiency standards for rental housing, ending unjust evictions and taking steps to limit rent increases, the report recommends.
“As temperatures, energy costs and rents continue to rise, governments need to act to keep renters safe in their own homes,” said Joel Dignam, a spokesperson for Better Renting.

According to 77 renter researchers across Australia who tracked heat and humidity, indoor temperatures were above 25 degrees Celsius for more than nine hours a day, averaging above 30 degrees Celsius for one hour a day.

Despite moderate temperatures from December to February, renters still struggled with heat and humidity due to poor insulation and rising energy costs.
Their plight was further exacerbated by what some called shacks, including structural defects and poorly maintained homes.

And while more homeowners benefit from cheaper power from rooftop solar in the summer and winter, renters tend to miss it.

Tenants are hesitant to complain to landlords and realtors. This is because they fear that they will be forced to raise rents in retaliation or be forced out of undersupplied housing.
Rising temperatures are a particular challenge for seniors in public housing, according to Awhina Kapa, ​​who works for the Victorian organization cohealth.

“Our residents use local pubs and pokeys to escape the heat of the night,” she said.

“We are seeing these residents struggling to pay for essentials such as toilet paper, bread and milk because they feel the pressure of having to spend money inside these venues.”
Washington was one of the hottest regions, but it tends to register less humidity, making it easier to feel cooler.
Tasmania rentals set record high temperatures, with indoor readings of 51.8 degrees.

The second highest Boxing Day score of 46.4 degrees was recorded in New South Wales. Northern Tenants in his territory spent almost all of his time above 25 degrees.

Queensland had a similar profile to the Northern Territory, though less extreme, while Victoria is generally a relatively cool state with temperatures in the healthy range for about 18 hours a day. bottom.
South Australia’s public housing renters are more likely than private renters to spend time in unhealthy temperature ranges, a report found.

ACT renters, where access to built-in air conditioning is more common, most often recorded healthy indoor temperatures.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/cooked-from-above-in-shoddy-housing-amid-energy-shock/j1omka75d How rising temperatures, energy costs and rising rents are hitting renters

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