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Cuts to JobSeeker will lead to housing stress and homelessness

Feb 11, 2021, 06:08 AM by Maiy Azize

Anglicare Australia is calling on the government to raise the rate of JobSeeker payments for good. 

The call follows the release of ACOSS and UNSW Poverty and Inequality in Australia partner report, showing that low rates are leading to housing stress and homelessness. Anglicare Australia is a partner in the research.

Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said that some renters are now out of work, and the new rate of JobSeeker is the only thing keeping a roof over their head.

“For people on the lowest incomes, rents have never been less affordable,” Ms Chambers said.

“Most of the price drops are at the higher end of the market. At the same time, more and more people are competing for cheap housing. That’s squeezing out people of the market. With so many people locked out of work, the new rate of JobSeeker is the only thing keeping them afloat.

“This is backed by Anglicare Australia’s latest Rental Affordability Snapshot update, which showed that the old rate of JobSeeker would leave 0% of rentals affordable for people out of work.”

Ms Chambers said that more must be done to help people on the lowest incomes.

“Rent deferrals and eviction moratoriums are ending soon. This report tells us that some people are in arrears for thousands of dollars. They are facing cuts to JobSeeker at the same time. This is a ticking time bomb.

“We must raise the rate of these payments for good. If the Government goes ahead with planned cuts, people will be pushed deeper into poverty and homelessness.

“The Government must step up and offer relief for people out of work. They must raise the rate of JobSeeker for good.

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