Low-income earners can’t afford to rent

Low-income earners are doing things tough at the moment, with a new report finding minimum wage earners could only afford less than one per cent of rental properties.

Anglicare’s Rental Affordability Snapshot found that of the current 45,115 rental listings in Australia, only 289 were cheap enough for a person earning a full-time minimum wage to comfortably afford, leading to calls for the government to increase social housing numbers.

The numbers were even worse for those on government support, with only 89 properties (0.2 per cent) affordable for those on the Age Pension, while just 31 (0.1 per cent) were viable for a person on the Disability Support Pension.

For Jobseekers, just three rentals were deemed affordable in the country, while none were viable for a student on Youth Allowance.

In response to the damning findings, Anglicare Australia has called on the Federal Government to return to directly funding and providing housing itself, instead of leaving housing to the private sector. 

Anglicare Australia is also calling on the government to wind back landlord tax concessions.

Everybody’s Home Spokesperson Jennifer Kirkaldy said more social housing was key to easing the housing crisis.

“Every year the Rental Affordability Snapshot serves as a sobering reminder: the housing crisis deepens the longer that the government fails to act,” Ms Kirkaldy said.

“Every year, we’re seeing more people priced out of renting and being pushed into housing stress and homelessness. 

“Even in regions where rental supply has gone up, housing isn’t becoming more affordable.”

Ms Kirkaldy said the private market alone will not solve the housing crisis.

“Instead, we need a boost in social housing – homes that are set up to make renting affordable,” she said.

Ms Kirkaldy said the next Budget was an opportunity to shift the dial. 

“Australia needs 50,000 social housing properties every year over the next decade,” she said.

“The government must also reform investor tax arrangements which are pushing up the cost of housing.

“The research is clear: Australians cannot afford housing, and Australia cannot afford for this housing crisis to get any worse.”

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