REIWA brings the christmas cheer amid Australia’s cost of living crisis

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
5 Min Read

The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) is doing its part to bring some much-needed cheer to those in need this holiday season.

With Australia in the midst of the nation’s worst housing crisis in decades, REIWA has thrown their support behind the Salvation Army to spread some joy this holiday season.

The charity group has seen a significant increase in the number of people needing intensive support alongside a spike in those seeking immediate relief as everyday Aussies struggle to get by with the rising cost of living.

“In the last six months, we have seen a 60 per cent increase in the need for intensive support and a 40 per cent increase in those seeking immediate relief, and this is before we enter the difficult Christmas period,” The Salvation Army spokesperson Warren Palmer said.

“With the need for support being greater than ever, our partnership with REIWA and Community REInvest members will help us continue to do all we can to address the significant level of stress we are witnessing and bring some relief to those struggling this Christmas.”

During December, donations of non-perishable food items and cans will be made at more than 50 real estate agencies throughout Perth and WA regional towns and the REIWA House based in Subiaco.

WA the nation’s worst place to rent

The appeal comes after analysis from Build-it revealed Western Australia had emerged as the country’s worst place for rising rents last month.

Data revealed significant disparities in rental conditions across WA, with the highest average rent increase of any state and low vacancy rates showing the harsh reality of WA’s highly strained rental market.

Head of Property Management at Perth-based The Property Exchange, Kaylee Ferguson, told BuildIT how the cost of living crisis led to a domino effect, first affecting construction companies and then homeowners and renters.

“We have had issues in the building sector with some of our major construction companies closing down – stopping new builds,” she told Build-it.

“It becomes a case of supply and demand with even more people forced into the rental market as new homes are not being built.”

Costing of living impacting Xmas

Those cost of living pressures have transformed Christmas from a moment of joy to a time of stress for many Western Australians, according to REIWA CEO Cath Hart.

“Increases in the cost of living, interest rates, and house and rent prices have made the past 12 months financially challenging for many,” she said.

“It’s been even harder for some families and individuals, and support agencies like The Salvation Army are facing increasing demand for their services.”

“Western Australians are renowned for their generosity, community spirit and willingness to help others, even when they are facing tough times, and it’s these traits we’re asking people to embrace to share some Christmas cheer with the more vulnerable members of our community.”

REIWA is also urging Western Australians to get behind their “give an unwrapped gift” appeal to ensure no young or elderly Aussies are left without something to open this Christmas.

“Whether that’s buying a gift voucher for a teenager, going through your pantry for non-perishable items you can donate, raiding your present cupboard for new toys or gifts for young children to receive – The Salvation Army and thousands of children and families will be grateful for any assistance you can provide,” Ms Hart said.

“The Christmas Appeal is just one of the vital community programs that REIWA supports through its philanthropic Community REInvest program, as part of its long-term partnership with the Salvos, allowing them to continue their vital work in WA,” Ms Hart said.

For a full list of gift ideas and non-perishable food suggestions, visit the REIWA Community REInvest web page.

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.