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Rental market hits record-low for pensioners

Apr 30, 2021, 13:36 PM by Maiy Azize

Anglicare Australia says the rental market is failing older people. This follows the release of Anglicare Australia’s Rental Affordability Snapshot on Thursday.

The Snapshot surveyed over 74,000 listings and found that:

  • Just 0.5% of rentals are affordable for a person on the Age Pension. This is a record-low result.
  • A couple on the Age Pension can afford 1.8% of listings. This is down from 3.2% in 2020.
  • Affordability for all households on the disability and age pensions is down, and has been trending down for years.

Anglicare Australia is calling for more social housing to protect older people from housing stress.

“Older people have been left behind by the rental market,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“Our Rental Affordability Snapshot shows that a person on the Age Pension can afford 0.5% 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 1.8%. That’s nearly half what it was a year ago.

“It’s no wonder the aged care Royal Commission called for action on housing stress and homelessness. Older people are being locked out of housing right when they need security the most.

“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 500,000 social homes. Many older people depend on these homes.

“We can’t outsource all of our housing needs to the private market. And we can’t expect individual landlords to solve a national rental crisis for people who are the most vulnerable.

“The Federal Government must step in and fund more social housing for people who need it the most. If the Government is serious about helping Australians age well, it will start funding these homes in the next budget.

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