Autumn 2017

Rental affordability in crisis

Anglicare survey

The private rental market is failing to provide millions of Australians with affordable and appropriate shelter, Anglicare’s eighth annual Rental Affordability Snapshot found.

Consistent with previous years, the survey shows a single person on Youth Allowance and Newstart finds it almost impossible to access an affordable home anywhere, whether that be in regional or metropolitan Australia.

‘In Western Australia, the ACT and the Northern Territory, there wasn’t a single property affordable for a single person living on Newstart or Youth Allowance,’ Anglicare’s Executive Director Kasy Chambers said.

Across the country, less than one per cent of properties were affordable for pensioners, those on Centrelink benefits, or those earning the minimum wage.

No properties were available for a single parent on the Newstart Allowance in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Darwin, Hobart or Brisbane.

The trend was a reminder to the federal government that policies like longer waiting periods for Newstart were particularly unhelpful for single parent households already struggling with finding affordable accommodation, Ms Chambers said.

The report defined rental stress as a household paying more than 30 per cent of its income to a landlord.

The report’s recommendations include:

  • Increasing funding for public and community housing by rebooting the National Affordable Housing Agreement.
  • Including public and community housing in new developments.
  • Winding back negative gearing and capital gains exemptions, and redirecting funds saved from doing so into public and community housing.
  • Increasing and amending Commonwealth Rent Assistance to ensure it reflects rent levels in different markets.

The snapshot was taken on the weekend of 1-2 April, 2017, and covers both regional and metropolitan areas.

Nationally, more than 67,000 properties were surveyed.

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