National News

Rental affordability crisis pushing Australians closer to homelessness

Australia’s rental affordability has plummeted with the market less affordable than ever, according to a new report.

The latest Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot, released today, confirms it’s almost impossible for some people to access housing. The Snapshot surveyed more than 74,000 rental listings across Australia and found:

· 859 were affordable for a person on the minimum wage

· 386 rentals were affordable for a single person on the Age Pension

· 236 rentals were affordable for a person on the Disability Support Pension

· 3 rentals, including share houses, were affordable for a person on JobSeeker

· 0 rentals, including share houses, were affordable for a person on Youth Allowance

Everybody’s Home – a national campaign to end homelessness is calling on the Federal Government to commit to building more social and affordable housing in the upcoming budget. National spokesperson Kate Colvin said the dire figures show the Federal Government is failing to look after the most vulnerable in our community. “A stable home is essential to holding down a job, raising a family and looking after your health. But our housing system is warped. This basic plank of a civilised society is out of reach for many thousands of Australians,” Ms Colvin said.

“High and rising rents are pushing thousands of Australians into homelessness, including young people who can’t live safely at home, women and children escaping family violence, and low-income older people. “We urgently need to build more social and affordable housing so that all Australians have the prospect of a healthy and stable life. It’s not much to ask.” Everybody’s Home is asking the Federal Government to commit the following in its upcoming budget:

· A joint Commonwealth/State-Territory investment of $7.7 billion to construct 30,000 new homes over the next four years. Modelling by SGS Economics and Planning estimates that on average between 15,500 and 18,000 full-time equivalent jobs per annum will be supported, triggering a broader economic expansion of $18.2 billion in total over the four years of construction.

· A 50 per cent increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) to more adequately subsidise private rental costs for low-income tenants. For a single person without children, this increase would see CRA rise from $70 to $105 per week. With 1.5 million unemployed and rental affordability at an all-time low, an increase in the CRA is crucial to ensuring those facing housing stress can keep a roof over their head.