Anglicare Australia’s Rental Affordability Snapshot, released this week, paints a concerning picture for low income earners looking for available housing.
The nationwide report draws on data from realestate.com.au, and found that Australians on low incomes, and those on government payments and the minimum wage, cannot afford to cover the costs of the current rental market.
Initial findings showed that single people on government payments were severely disadvantaged in the housing market with less than 1% of the listed 62,000 properties surveyed rated suitable for them.
The biggest audience impacted were single parents and jobless families. In Australia there are 1.3 million jobless families (according to the ABS) which is 19% of all families (that’s nearly 1 in 5 families with no one working). There are also many single parents in Australia (approximately 15% of all families).
National Anglicare are Executive Director, Kasy Chambers has called for an increase in affordable housing and a dedicated federal housing and homelessness minister.
“For people on the lowest incomes, those most vulnerable in the community, our Snapshot found that rental affordability is still virtually at zero,” Ms Chambers said.
“Limited supply does more than just drive up the price of housing. It forces those on lower incomes to spend more on rent than they can afford; compels them to forgo food and other necessities; and drives them further away from social and economic participation.
“Australia needs a dedicated housing minister, in Cabinet. Housing is the focus of one of only six national agreements, and yet we don’t have a federal minister to orchestrate and deliver a comprehensive housing plan that would enable all Australians to access affordable housing.
“We also need government to work in partnership with the community and housing sectors, to grow the supply of public, community and private rental housing affordable to people living on low incomes. While there is no one easy answer, the problem is far too big to ignore.”
While there is no one easy answer, the problem is far too big to ignore
More pain ahead?
A University of Melbourne study found a link between long-term trauma and homelessness (the study looked at the relationship between trauma exposure, mental health difficulties, social disadvantage and long-term homelessness to explain how some people get trapped in a cycle).Many in the homeless and charity sector workers often say “everyone is only one step away from homelessness” and this report seems to support this theory.
Many are concerned that today’s Commission of Audit report will add additional pressures to low income earners and vulnerable groups in society.
originally posted on realestate.com.au