Dire lack of rentals for older Australians

COTA Australia is joining Anglicare Australia to call for more social housing to protect older people from housing stress. This follows the release of Anglicare Australia’s Rental Affordability Snapshot.

The Snapshot surveyed over 45,895 listings and found that:

– 162 rentals (0.4%) were affordable for a person on the Age Pension

– 508 rentals (1.1%) were affordable for a couple on the Age Pension

– Both are results are record lows in the Snapshot’s fourteen-year history.

Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said:

“Older people have been left behind by the rental market. Our Rental Affordability Snapshot shows that a person on the Age Pension can afford 0.4% of rental listings across Australia. We’ve been releasing this Snapshot for ten years and this is the worst result we’ve ever seen. Couples are barely better off. They can afford just 1.1%.

“We know why this is happening, and we know how to fix it. Every year, Australia’s social housing shortfall gets worse and worse. We have a shortfall of almost 640,000 social homes. Many older people depend on these homes for security as they get older.

“Without action, older people will simply be left to the mercy of the market.”

COTA Australia CEO Pat Sparrow said:

“This Snapshot confirms what people have been telling us – that when it comes to finding appropriate, affordable, accessible rental accommodation, older Australians are doing it particularly tough.

“We’re already in a situation where many older people are having to make tough decisions about where to spend their money, which can include forgoing basics. The fear – and reality – of rental increases only exacerbates an already incredibly difficult situation.

“Finding a rental property is difficult enough for most people, but when you factor in some of the unique challenges such as mobility and accessibility needs that some older people face, it can make a tough situation feel near impossible.”