By: Radio Australia
A public policy forum at the University of Papua New Guinea today, has been told the cost of rental housing is so high that many low-income earners cannot afford what is on offer.
Michelle Rooney, research fellow at the Australian National University's Development Policy Centre, says rental properties in Port Moresby cost 2-thousand Kina a month on average, more than the salary of low income earners.
She told delegates at the PNG Update, the Government must address this issue.
"What I found in my research was, the period mid 2000 up to now rentals and prices of houses have increased very, very sharply.
"And as a result most people cannot afford renting in urban areas particularly Port Moresby and Lae.
"And part of this is because a lot of investments are happening in the cities.
"Apart from housing being constructed we also see a lot of investment properties being constructed."
In the same conference,
There was a call for laws to be enforced to ban children from working on the streets.
The conference heard that children as young as 10 are working under very harsh conditions to help feed their families.
Researcher Johnson Ahupa, from the University of Goroka, says many of the children have been pulled out of school by their parents or have never been to school at all.
"You talk about first, second, third generation migrants coming out from especially rural areas, basically driven out by poverty and lack of development back in the villages and districts.
"And so they come looking for opportunities, but opportunities are scarce, and that has forced them into those kinds of activities, just to basically make a living."
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