Heat maps show the depth of the rental crisis for essential workers

Anglicare Australia has made an urgent plea to boost affordable housing across the country. The call is made as Anglicare Australia launches new heat maps showing that essential workers can’t afford rent in any part of the country.

“Essential workers are the backbone of our communities, yet they cannot afford to rent. These maps show that more and more essential workers are being pushed into serious rental stress – and being forced out of their local communities,” 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.

“Our own services employ many of these workers, and have been struggling to help them find affordable places to live.”

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 the Government to take action – and make sure everyone has a place to call home,” Ms Chambers said.