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No Place Like Home: Rental affordability in crisis

Apr 27, 2017, 00:31 AM by Maiy Azize

Anglicare Australia today called on the government to take urgent action on rental affordability in the upcoming Budget, releasing the 2017 Rental Affordability Snapshot.

“Home should be a space we can make our own. It’s our place to belong, and the basis on which we can build our lives” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“It’s not a question of owning or renting. Everyone needs – and should have – a home.

“For eight years now, Anglicare Australia’s Rental Affordability Snapshot has highlighted the experiences of people on the lowest incomes in the rental market. What we’ve learned is that it’s getting tougher for renters to make a real home for themselves and their families.

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

“Many Australians already know that our major cities are becoming places where only the very wealthy can avoid housing stress. But this report shows that renters on low incomes are in trouble all over Australia, with regional areas failing to offer relief.

“Payments like Newstart, Youth Allowance, Disability Support and Aged Pensions have become a poverty trap. They’re so low that paying rent means you can’t then afford to buy food, clothing, transport or go to the doctor. 

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

“If we’re serious about the right to a home, everyone will need to work together. The budget must include investment in public housing, a plan to improve renter’s rights, more support for community housing options that meet everyone’s needs, and a commitment to winding back Capital Gains Tax and negative gearing concessions to fund this investment in housing. We also need to see income support payments go up as a matter of urgency.

“If the last eight years have shown us anything, it’s that housing affordability is not a problem that can simply be left to the market. It’s time for the government to reclaim its responsibility to provide a home for its citizens – and this Budget is their chance to do it” said Ms Chambers.

The report surveyed over 67,000 properties across Australia and found that only:
- 586 were affordable for a single person on the Disability Support Pension
- 239 were affordable for a single parent with one child on Newstart
- 21 were affordable for a single person on Newstart
- 8 were affordable for a single person in a property or share house on Youth Allowance

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