A perfect storm: Survey shows rental hardship is a ticking time bomb

Anglicare Australia says renters are facing a crisis as eviction moratoriums and rent deferrals end. This follows the release of a dramatic survey of Anglicare Australia member agencies.

The survey showed that:

  • All agencies have clients who need help because of rental arrears
  • 89% of agencies have clients who have been asked to vacate their homes
  • 50% of agencies say their clients are turning to payday lenders to cover their debts
  • 44% of agencies say their clients are turning to housing and homelessness services for help
  • clients are carrying debts ranging from $500 to $20,000.

Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said action is needed in next week’s Budget:

“This survey shows that many renters are on the brink,” Ms Chambers said.

“In most parts of the country, rent deferrals and eviction moratoriums have ended. Some are in arrears for thousands of dollars, and many have had cuts to JobSeeker payments at the same time. This is a perfect storm.

“We’re seeing renters with bigger and bigger debts. Some have already been given notice to leave their homes.

“People are turning to homelessness services to keep a roof over their head. Many are also going to payday lenders. That will only lead to more hardship and debt.

“We need action in next week’s Budget. We need to lift JobSeeker and other payments above the poverty line. If we don’t, people out of work will be pushed deeper into housing stress and even homelessness.

“We also need to invest in affordable housing. Our shortfall is massive. We need 500,000 new social and affordable rentals across Australia. “The Government has a chance to take real action in the Budget – and make sure nobody is left behind,” Ms Chambers said.”