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Housing Affordability & Domestic Violence

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In recent years, there has been an upward trend in the number of homeless people (Shinn, Gibbons-Benton, & Brown, 2015). Homelessness is a situation where one lacks proper housing, which may lead to spending nights in streets, in unstable housings or in vehicles. Homelessness occurs when an individual is separated from their families without any possessions. There is a wide range of factors that account for these growing concerns. Financial issues, domestic or family violence, unemployment, family breakdown, mental disorders, and gambling may lead to homelessness. This essay will focus on housing affordability and domestic violence as a major concern for homelessness and examine the consequences of this worrying trend on individual and society as a whole.

The upsurge in homelessness can be attributed to a myriad of factors. Housing affordability is unarguably one of the main salient facets, which leads to homelessness. The rising price of houses in urban areas is particularly affecting young adults. In recent years, the price of houses in Sydney rose to approximately 19% and 17% in Melbourne (Kupke & Rossini, 2011). Also, the rent of houses has doubled in rates when compared to the last decade (O’Donnell, 2016), which is forcing the young generations towards poverty and resulting in homelessness.

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Majority of people living under the poverty line cannot afford sub-standard accommodations leading to social exclusions. Such condition leads them to the vulnerable state of living in shelters, crowded places, streets, hotels and boarding houses. Due to lack of employment opportunities and skills development, homeless people are unable to afford a proper housing. Basically, family conflict leads to homelessness which then results in drug and alcohol addiction by young people. The existing research also suggests that homeless youngsters use all drug types, regardless of whether infused or something else, more frequently than their home-based peers. Domestic violence is considered as one of the dominant causes of derelict in Australia; especially for women (Baker, Billhardt, Warren, Rollins, & Glass, 2010).

This research also states that domestic violence is closely related to a victim’s financial freedom. Abusive behaviour caused by one family member to acquire dominance over the another’s life leads to the victim’s desire to leave a cruel relationship, often women. In Australia, most of the women keep their jobs aside and focus more on the household activities. They are paid less compared to men. After leaving the house to escape from the abusive behaviours they may come across various economic difficulties. Besides, abusers harass women at their work and obstruct them to continue their work.

As a result, they lose their work due to mental instability (Tutty, Ogden, Giurgiu, & Weaver-Dunlop, 2014). According to them 80% of homeless youths have been diagnosed with mental health problems. Such lifestyle led to a crisis for accommodation and are exposed to substance misuse. According to Schumacher and Holt (2012), 36% of the suffers are likely to have substance use problems. This research also claimed that the use of substance helped them to cope with their worsening condition and reduce their stress.


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