Low-income households struggle to find a home

Jodie Humphries 28 April 2017 NEWS

rental affordability issuesAnglicare Australia has called for government action on rental affordability to assist low-income households in finding a place to live.

With the release of its 2017 Rental Affordability Snapshot report, Anglicare Australia is calling on the federal government to address rental affordability for low-income families in the upcoming budget.

“It’s not a question of owning or renting. Everyone needs – and should have – a home,” says Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers.

Anglicare Australia partnered with REA Group and realestate.com.au to look at 67,751 properties available for rent over the first weekend of April, using the benchmark of an affordable rental property not costing more than 30% of the household’s income.

The report showed that 5.7% of properties surveyed were affordable for households receiving income support payments. If a household instead relies on minimum wage to support them, only 30% of properties would be considered affordable nationally.

“Australians on a low income are struggling to pay rent and make ends meet. And people living on income support payments can hardly afford to rent anywhere,” said Chambers.

In regional areas, 20% of the 13,739 properties looked at were considered affordable for households that rely on income support payments and 54% were affordable for households that rely on minimum wage.

Housing affordability has been a big issue for the metropolitan areas of Australia, but the focus has been on purchasing rather than renting. For this report, Anglicare looked at 54,012 metropolitan properties for rent and found that 32% were deemed affordable for households that rely on minimum wage and that only 2.4% were affordable for households that rely on income support payments.

“The government has acknowledged that there is a crisis in rental affordability," said Chambers. "The next budget is its chance to show us whether it includes all Australians when it talks about Australian values.”

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