Young adults return home in record numbers due to COVID-19

Raffi Bianchino, 24 and Tom Gardiner, 25.

 

DATA released by the Australian Institute of Families in July has confirmed what many have suspected – young adults have moved back in with parents in record numbers due to COVID-19.

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The Life During COVID-19 survey, which had over 7,300 respondents and took place in May and June, found 21 percent of under 30-year-olds’ living arrangements had changed since COVID began.

This percentage was the same for 50 to 59 year olds, indicating the kids had moved back in.

The data comes as no surprise to young couple Raffi Bianchino, 24 and Tom Gardiner, 25 who were living together in Sydney before COVID.

“Everyone in the house lost their jobs and we asked our landlord for a rent reduction and he gave us a solid no,” said Mr Gardiner.

“So we moved home to Coffs for what was initially two weeks but is now seven months. I think as time went on it just got easier and easier to stay,” said Ms Bianchino.

Since completing her law and political science degree Ms Bianchino had begun working at a firm in Coffs Harbour, while Mr Gardiner is a week away from submitting his psychology honours thesis.

The couple split their time living between parents, something they hadn’t expected to be doing in their mid-20s.

“I didn’t see myself living in Coffs again for a long time. But it’s been pretty special to come back otherwise I don’t know if I would have ever gotten that chance again,” said Mr Gardiner.

“Something that’s really nice about being back is there’s a solid group of friends that are in a similar boat. It’s nice to have a community here and spending time with the family,” said Ms Bianchino.

The couple have no plans to move back to Sydney anytime soon.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty and no one knows what’s going to happen with COVID,” said Ms Bianchino.

“There needs to be something in Sydney worth spending Sydney rent on that’s worth going back for. If I’m not studying and there isn’t really work then I don’t see the point in going down,” said Mr Gardiner.

A second survey is planned for November which will follow up with the same respondents to see what had changed since the first survey.

The survey findings can be found at https://aifs.gov.au/.

 

By Miles PROUST

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