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Survey shows rental hardship is a ticking time bomb

Aug 6, 2020, 10:33 AM by Maiy Azize

Anglicare Australia has called for urgent relief for renters. The call follows the release of a new survey released by Better Renting.

“Renters are bearing the brunt of this downturn. Many are losing their incomes, and some are scared of losing their homes,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“This survey shows that a majority of renters have lost some – or all – of their income, and many are only staying afloat because of the JobSeeker increase.

“We must raise the rate of these payments for good. If they are cut, renters will be pushed even deeper into poverty or homelessness.”

Ms Chambers said JobSeeker cuts and an end to protections will push many people to the brink.

“Rent deferrals and eviction moratoriums are ending soon, but the problem has only been kicked down the road. Some renters are in arrears for thousands of dollars, and many are facing cuts to JobSeeker at the same time. This is a ticking time bomb.

“The Government has been telling renters in crisis to talk directly to their landlord. That’s not good enough. Today’s survey found that only 9 percent of affected renters have been able to get a rent reduction.

“Renters will be recovering from this pandemic for months and years to come. They need certainty. That means real relief, not a delayed cut-off.

“The Government must step up and offer relief for renters. And they must raise the rate of JobSeeker for good.

“In the midst of this crisis, we need to make sure renters can keep a roof over their heads – and stop any more Australians from falling into homelessness.”