New report shows essential workers are being hit hard by the rental crisis

Anglicare Australia has made an urgent plea to boost affordable housing across the country. The call is made as Anglicare Australia releases a new Rental Affordability Snapshot focused on essential workers in full-time work.

The Snapshot surveyed 45,895 rental listings across Australia and found that:

  • 1087 rentals (2.4%) were affordable for an ambulance worker
  • 666 rentals (1.5%) were affordable for a nurse
  • 582 rentals (1.3%) were affordable for a construction worker
  • 507 rentals (1.1%) were affordable for an aged care worker
  • 428 rentals (0.9%) were affordable for an early childhood educator
  • 424 rentals (0.9%) were affordable for a hospitality worker.

“Essential workers are the backbone of our communities, yet they cannot afford to rent. Our Snapshot shows that more and more essential workers are being pushed into serious rental stress,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“So many essential industries are facing workforce shortages with workers unable to afford to stay or move to parts of the country where these shortages are at their worst. These numbers help explain why.

“Virtually no part of Australia is affordable for aged care workers, early childhood educators, cleaners, nurses and many other essential workers we rely on. They cannot afford to live in their own communities.”

Ms Chambers said that the best way to tackle the rental crisis is to build social and affordable rentals.

“We already know that the private market is failing people on the lowest incomes. This Snapshot shows that it’s failing people on average incomes as well, including those in full-time work.

“Even though Australia has built a record number of homes over the last ten years, rents keep soaring. The best way to make rentals more affordable is to build social and affordable homes. Building general homes and hoping affordability will trickle down just isn’t working.

“We need to build affordable housing for those who need it, including essential workers. We need better protections for renters, including an end to no-cause evictions and limits on unfair rent increases. And we need tax reform to put people in need of homes, not investors, at the centre of our system.

“We’re calling on housing ministers to take action when they meet next week – and make sure everyone has a place to call home,” Ms Chambers said.