Just a few short decades ago, buying a home was a routine part of life. Leave school, get a job, save for a deposit, buy a house, raise a family. It didn't need to be a great job either, just something that pulled in a regular wage to service a regular mortgage.
How times have changed. Where once the haves and have nots were based on income, now property is the great divider in society.
Those who don't own a home are watching those who do leave them behind in the quest for a happy, comfortable life as property prices soar to unprecedented levels and lock them out of the market, in many cases forever.
Property prices have been rising faster than young couples can earn, let alone save, putting that ever-growing deposit further out of reach. Many are angry, others despair. So much for the Prime Minister's pledge of "a fair go for those who have a go".
Politicians have been loath to tinker with housing policy lest they upset home owners and investors who are making a killing in the current real estate environment.
Against that background, the Housing Trust here in the Illawarra has launched a public awareness campaign called Homes4LocalHeroes aimed at raising the profile of housing affordability, an issue that has been swamped by the COVID-19 pandemic and longer-term concerns about climate change.
It is asking every candidate in the upcoming council elections in Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and the Shoalhaven how they'll help deliver more affordable rental housing if they're elected.
According to Housing Trust CEO Michele Adair, 10,000 households in the region are in housing stress.
"Many are our frontline pandemic heroes; our nurses, cleaners, teachers, emergency services personnel, retail, and aged and child care workers," Ms Adair says.
"Given their magnificent efforts, during the pandemic and often over a lifetime, they've earned the right to be treated like heroes. Every single one of them deserves a safe, affordable home. Many will rent for life and we have to make that OK, respectful and secure."
Amen to that.