Aspect: Rental Affordability Snapshot Edition 2019

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Editorial: Rental Affordability Snapshot paints a grim picture, yet again

Kasy ED 4_pref

This week, Anglicare Australia released its tenth Rental Affordability Snapshot. And after ten years, it is clear that the Australian dream – a place to call home – has become a nightmare for many Australians.

Our Snapshot surveys rental listings on a sample weekend each year. We then test each listing to see if it’s affordable for different household types, ranging from people on the minimum wage, the age pension, and different government payments.

This year’s Snapshot surveyed over 69,000 private rental listings across the country over one sample weekend. We’ve found a dire crisis for people on the lowest incomes, with affordability at an all-time low.

We found that no properties in any capital city were affordable for a single person on Youth Allowance or Newstart. In fact, there were only two properties across the entire country that were affordable for people on these payments.

The most generous of government benefits is the Age Pension. Yet for a couple on the pension, only three percent of rentals were affordable. Single pensioners have it even worse, with less than one percent of listings left to compete for.

Working people are hardly better off. A single person working full-time on the minimum wage will find that only two percent of rentals are affordable – another all-time low for our Snapshot.

Of course, this Snapshot doesn’t tell the whole story. Although we look at the full-time minimum wage, we know that half of our workforce is now working casually. Over one million Australians are underemployed. Their plight is likely to be much worse than this Snapshot shows.

Nor can the Snapshot consider the competition for each of these properties. In an overheated market, an affordable property can attract dozens of applications.

So how do people manage? For too many people, paying the rent means they can’t afford to eat decent food, fill a prescription, pay for transport, or buy clothes. Anglicare Australia members see their clients facing these impossible decisions.

But this balancing act can only go on for so long. It can come to a crashing end when an unexpected bill comes in or when the rent increases. For these people the car, a friend’s sofa, a homelessness service, or even a tent in a squat becomes home.

All of this matters enormously for the growing number of older Australians who rent. This year, we’ve looked closely at older people who are stuck in expensive and insecure rentals – at a time in their life when stability is more important than ever.

A growing number of older Australians are on Newstart, including some 183,000 people over 50 who have been on Newstart for over a year. Research shows that this cohort might not ever return to the workforce. Our Snapshot paints a glum picture for them, with years of rental stress ahead of them before they retire onto the age pension.

Unfortunately, their story won’t end there. This year we had our worst result for people on the age pension – but perhaps that isn’t surprising. The pension was designed assuming that retirees own their own home and have no housing costs. But with home ownership going down, more and more pensioners are renting in retirement. And for many, that means they are retiring into poverty.

The insecurity facing older people should worry renters everywhere. It paints a bleak picture for their future. 

It wasn’t always like this. There used to be a net for older people who didn’t own their home or have savings. Public and social housing once offered people security in their later years. But here again, we are failing older people. Australia is now looking to the private rental market to provide housing for more and more people. And as our governments walk away from social housing, more people must fend for themselves in a market that is out of control. With over 115,000 people homeless – including a growing number of older people – we desperately need to increase the amount of social housing and put a roof over the head of every Australian.

That is the central call of this year’s Snapshot. If we wait another ten years to act on these findings, we will be condemning hundreds of thousands of Australians to a lifetime of housing stress.

This editorial was originally published at www.johnmenadue.com.

National Office News

National Office News: Rental Affordability Snapshot, Federal Budget, Age Well campaign, election updates and more

Rental Affordability Snapshot: Media wrap-up
As Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said in this month’s editorial, the findings in this year’s Rental Affordability Snapshot were stark – and we had strong media interest in this year’s findings.

Kasy on ABC NewsThe Snapshot launch was covered by SBS News, Win News, and Channel 10, and Kasy Chambers was also interviewed live on ABC News, Sky News and on ABC Radio. The Snapshot release continued to be featured throughout the day in packages on SBS News, Prime Seven News, Sky News, and ABC Radio National.

Roland and Brooke at Snapshot LaunchThe Snapshot was extensively featured in Fairfax newspapers with a syndicated story in Fairfax, an article in the Australian Financial Review, and a syndicated opinion piece from Kasy Chambers. Fairfax also ran regional coverage of the report, including a major article on the Sydney results in the Sydney Morning Herald and a nationally-focused piece in Domain.

The Snapshot was covered by the Guardian with a focus on income support recipients, as well as a separate opinion piece by Greg Jericho which featured regional data. The Snapshot was also covered by youth outlets such as Triple J’s Hack, Buzzfeed, and The Feed.

The national results were featured in News Ltd outlets News.Com.Au and the Daily Telegraph, which also ran a separate story focused on Sydney. News Ltd papers also covered the regional results across the country. A particular highlight was the News Ltd coverage in Tasmania, which included front page story in the Hobart Mercury and an accompanying editorial.

Our regional coverage extended to ABC News in Sydney and Hobart, the Canberra Times, Adelaide Advertiser, Hobart Examiner, Illawarra Mercury, Bendigo Advertiser, Goulburn Post, Batemans Bay Post, Daily Advertiser, Yass Tribune, Central Western Daily, Ballarat Courier, La Trobe Valley Express, Irrigator, Coffs Coast Advocate, Northern Daily Leader, Sunraysia Daily, Beagle Weekly, 4BC Brisbane, NBN News Newcastle, and countless commercial television and radio outlets across Australia.

Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s media release, and click here to visit the Rental Affordability Snapshot website.

Opinion piece: The latest depressing insight into Australia's housing crisis
In a Fairfax opinion piece that coincided with this year's Snapshot, Executive Director of Anglicare Australia Kasy Chambers calls for urgent action on rental affordability. The piece calls for a reinvestment in social housing for people in need – and highlights the experiences of older people who are renting.

Click here to read our opinion piece in Fairfax newspapers.

Rental Affordability Snapshot: Resources
NationalAnglicare Australia has produced infographics to highlight some of the key findings of the Rental Affordability Snapshot. These graphics are available to download and re-post, or to share from Anglicare Australia social media accounts.

Anyone hoping for a detailed understanding of the tax breaks and concessions should also read Greg Jericho’s piece in The Guardian, which uses graphs and interactive local data.

The report has also been turned into an interactive website, available at www.anglicare-ras.com. Each of the regional snapshots is available to download online.

We encourage members to use the Snapshot, the website, and these resources in their advocacy and in any meetings with parties and candidates.

Click here to download the full report from the Anglicare Australia website.

Anglicare Australia launches Election Update and Election Tracker
Anglicare Australia has launched an Election Update for our members. The updates will keep members informed of our work in the lead up to the Federal Election on 18 May. We will also be getting in touch if announcements are made that affect Anglicare Australia members.

As part of the update service, we are maintaining an Election Tracker that collates national election announcements from the Federal Government and Opposition. It includes information about all election promises, proposed costs and savings, descriptions of key proposals, and links to the election announcements themselves.

As a non-partisan organisation, we are assessing all election commitments against the calls we've made in our Federal Budget Submission and our Position Statements. We will not be tracking local and electorate-specific proposals, or proposals from minor parties and independents, unless they directly impact on Anglicare Australia members.

To sign up for the Election Updates, contact [email protected].

Anglicare Australia continues to seek election commitments
After calling on the Federal Government and Opposition to sign on to key commitments in our open letters last month, the Government has now replied to our open letter. Their response is available at the Anglicare Australia website for members to read.

Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers has been featured in media and panel discussions looking at election policies. The ABC's Philip Clark featured Kasy on a panel looking at the future of housing, and Kasy was also part of a panel on wages and work with the ABC's Fran Kelly, focusing on people who are unemployed or underemployed. These are people who have been left out of the debates around a living wage or tax cuts.

We're still waiting for key commitments from both the Government and the Opposition in our priority areas – we haven't yet heard any major commitments on aged care, social housing, the low rates of income support payments, or job creation. We hope to have news on these fronts soon.

Click here to read our open letters, and to view the Government’s response.

‘Age Well’ campaign launched ahead of the Federal Election
Age Well CampaignAnglicare Australia has kicked off our advocacy by helping to lead the Age Well Campaign with the National Aged Care Alliance. As a key member of the Alliance, Anglicare Australia has been instrumental in the campaign, which has now gone public. We hope all of our members will add their voice and spread the word.

Anglicare Australia is also writing to both the Government and Opposition, seeking commitments on aged care in line with our work on the Age Well Campaign.

For more information about our work on the Age Well campaign, contact [email protected].

Anglicare Australia responds to the 2019 Federal Budget
Budget Fast Facts and Budget ReplyAnglicare Australia’s national office team were involved in many meetings and events before and after this year’s Budget. We were also kept busy on Budget night with our usual work of putting together the Budget Fast Facts analysis for Anglicare member organisations as well as a statement for the media.

Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers attended the Budget lock-up at Treasury, while Policy Officer Ingrid Hatfield attended the Department of Health briefing and Director of Media and Communications Maiy Azize attended ACOSS Federal Budget Caucus.

Deputy Director Roland Manderson joined the ACOSS community sector press conference at Parliament House following the Budget, and Anglicare Australia’s Budget commentary was covered by media outlets including ABC Radio National, Nine News, the Daily Telegraph, and Crikey. Pro Bono Australia covered our response in its wrap-ups for the sector, and also published an opinion piece from Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

This year, Anglicare Australia also released a factsheet on the Federal Opposition Leader's Budget Reply speech. It included an overview of the speech, a summary of key opposition initiatives and promises, and comments from Anglicare Australia’s team on the impacts of Budget measures.

Opinion piece: A cynical exercise in vote buying, or blue sky thinking?
Was the Federal Budget a cynical exercise in vote buying, or blue sky thinking? On either reading, it has been disappointing, writes Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers.

Click here to read the full opinion piece at Pro Bono Australia.

Register for Anglicare Australia’s 2019 Conference
Anglicare Conference 2019It is with great pleasure that Anglicare Australia invites you to the 2019 Anglicare Australia National Conference, to be held at the Pan Pacific in Perth from 8–11 September 2019. Early bird registrations have now opened, and registrations are open online.

Our theme for 2019, Our Stories: The Power to Change, will capture our work and builds on our mission. As Anglicare Australia Network members, we work in hundreds of communities across Australia to build resilience, inclusion and justice. And as a Network, we are always sharing stories of change as we advance our mission.

Speakers will include:

  • Jane Caro, commentator and author
  • Dr Tracey Westerman, West Australian of the Year
  • Katie Stubley, Director of the Social Impact Festival and lecturer at the Centre of Social Impact
  • Janet Anderson, Aged Care Quality Commissioner
  • A panel will explore issues in philanthropy and social ventures

Delegates will be treated to concurrent sessions from experts from across the Anglicare network; outstanding keynote addresses; and networking opportunities throughout the three days. And as always, we will kick off on Sunday evening with an opening service on Sunday night.

Click here to register for the Anglicare Australia National Conference.

Call for Papers open for Anglicare Australia National Conference
Applications are invited for papers for the Anglicare Australia National Conference at the Pan Pacific, Perth.

Workshops and presentations are an important part of the conference, giving participants an opportunity for members of the Anglicare network to exchange information, showcase successes, promote your organisation’s agenda and make useful connections.

With a focus on the theme Our Stories: The Power to Change we welcome workshops and presentations in all service types from member organisations in areas such as:

  • Cutting edge service design
  • Client experience and co-production
  • Communications strategies for advocacy and for service delivery
  • Faith-based engagement
  • Leadership, management and staff development
  • Marketing / fundraising
  • Organisational development
  • Research, evaluation and outcomes measurement

More information on submitting an abstract is available online: events.anglicare.asn.au.

Papers should be submitted by no later than Friday 14 June 2019. To find out more, email [email protected].

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Network News

Benetas voices concerns over Budget omissions in aged care
Sandra HillsWith the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety well underway and many issues already highlighted by Senior Counsel as a priority to be addressed, Benetas CEO Sandra Hills said she expected a lot more would be committed in this year's budget to support older Australians as they age.

Ms Hills said she was expecting the Government to address in particular, the Home Care wait list, unspent funds and a more needs-focused allocation of Home Care packages as opposed to a level defined by a dollar amount, an issue also highlighted during the most recent Royal Commission hearings on Home Care.

"It is not about trying to fix or gap fill with the Commonwealth Home Support Package (CHSP) or the four Home Care packages provided, but about determining what is our vision for home support going into the future.

"Better use of home care funds is clearly in the interest of consumers. It is important for older people to get the care they need at home for their quality of life and also to avoid or defer a move to costlier permanent care. An unreasonable level of unspent funds may adversely affect the client in the long run."

In particular, Ms Hills expressed disappointment in the missed opportunity of funding to implement many of the 14 recommendations from the Aged Care Workforce Report.

"This is a real opportunity missed to enact the important recommendations from the workforce report while the Royal Commission is underway."

"I am left disappointed for older Australians, their families, aged care staff and providers that, given this time of heightened focus on the problems with the aged care system, that the Government has not stepped up to tackle this issue more to allay community concerns."

Benetas is a member of Anglicare Australia and Ms Hills serves as a member of the Anglicare Australia Council.

Click here to read Benetas’ full statement in response to the Federal Budget.

2019 Aboriginal Culture and Experience Program: 4-10 June 2019
NT study tourAnglicare NT is offering Anglicare Australia member agencies the chance to participate in an Aboriginal culture and experience tour.

Anglicare Australia together with Anglicare NT has coordinated the participation of Anglicare Australia members attendance at the Garma Festival for the past three years. Often the cost of attending Garma is prohibitive for many agencies, hence Anglicare NT proposing a more affordable alternative in 2019.

Participants will:

  • Be part of a six-day tour of Darwin, Katherine and Barunga in the Northern Territory
  • Take a pre-tour online cross-cultural training
  • Attend a unique dining experience in Darwin at a local Aboriginal owned café
  • Take part in a once in a lifetime celebration of Aboriginal music, culture and sport at the internationally renowned Barunga Festival
  • Develop cultural awareness and learn about the unique heritage, strengths and culture of Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory
  • Meet with Traditional Owners and local Aboriginal controlled organisations
  • Visit one of the world’s premier National Parks, the Nitmiluk National Park.

Click here for more information about the program.

The deadline to register has been extended to Friday 3 May 2019. To register, email April Hines at [email protected].

Anglicare Northern Inland to provide mental health services not covered by the NDIS to Moree residents
Residents of Moree, Narrabri and Gunnedah and surrounding towns who are unable to access the NDIS due to the sporadic nature of their mental health issues will be looked after thanks to new programs run by Anglicare Northern Inland.

Tailored programs designed to support people with severe mental health issues who have reduced Psychosocial function, opened in the North West in January. These programs are designed to:

  • Maintain physical wellbeing
  • Find and maintain a home
  • Build broader life skills

Services will be available to Moree residents"These services aim to build people's ability and skills to manage their mental illness, improve relationships with family and others, and increase social and economic participation," said regional manager Claire Dunlop.

"These services aim to build people's ability and skills to manage their mental illness, improve relationships with family and others, and increase social and economic participation," said regional manager Claire Dunlop.

"We are looking to assist women with perinatal depression; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; people living in rural and remote areas; people living on low incomes; people from CALD communities; and those who have recently attempted suicide or have persistent thoughts of suicide."

Click here to read more about Anglicare Northern Inland's mental health programs.

Campaign to recruit for ground-breaking family support program
AnglicareSA has commenced recruitment for a new initiative that aims to transform the way intensive support is delivered to families in crisis. The campaign will target highly skilled practitioners. The service will draw on international evidence such as the U.S. based HomeBuilders program, to provide responsive and effective supports for South Australian families at risk of entering the child protection system.

The Intensive Family Support Service was first announced by the State Government late last year, and is part of the Government’s broader redesign of the child abuse and neglect early intervention and prevention system.

AnglicareSA CEO Peter Sandeman said the service is a fundamental part of the reform triggered by the Nyland report and is expected to commence mid-year in Adelaide’s northern suburbs following the appointment of the first group of intensive family support specialists.

“Ultimately, our goal is to enable more children to live safely at home with their families. We hope to see real change from this pilot program, with the ultimate aim of stemming the flow of children coming into the child protection system” Mr Sandeman said.

Click here to find out more about the program.

Anglicare NT Supporting Young People Across the Territory
NT Couch SurfingAs part of National Youth Week in Darwin, Anglicare NT and City of Darwin hosted the annual Couch Surfing event. The event aims to raise awareness of the disproportionally high rates of youth homelessness.

Held on Youth Homelessness Matters Day, the event involved teams of young people racing each other on decorated couches. Over 20 local organisations participated and held information stalls.

“On Youth Homelessness Matters Day, we are raising awareness of the fact that on any given night, more than 3,500 young people are experiencing homelessness in the Northern Territory,” said Anglicare NT CEO Dave Pugh.

“Our young people are struggling – according to the 2016 census data, the Northern Territory has 1 per cent of Australia’s youth population but represents 13 per cent of the nation’s homeless youth.”

“What we need is for political leaders to commit to a national plan to tackle homelessness for all young Australians,” said Mr Pugh.

Click here to read more about Anglicare NTs work as part of National Youth Week.

National Awards Profile

Awards profile: Ashmont Community Resource Centre, Anglicare NSW South, NSW West, and ACT

Welcome to our series of profiles on the winners and highly commended of the Anglicare Australia 2018 National Awards for Innovation and Excellence. These profiles are featured in the 2019 Anglicare Australia Review.

Ashmont Community Centre 1Ashmont Community Resource Centre is a community hub in Wagga Wagga. It is run by Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT in partnership with the Anglican Community of the Redeemer. It’s supported by government, not-for-profit and community organisations.

Founded more than 16 years ago, the Centre has offered a safe and well-respected meeting place for the Ashmont community. It offers support, advocacy, resources, skills development, and social interaction in a friendly environment. It has allowed vulnerable and disadvantaged people get support through a single pathway. This is known as the “Survive and Thrive” model.

Ashmont Community Centre 2Ashmont is a highly disadvantaged area. The population's median age is 31. Almost half live in rented accommodation. It also has a large Aboriginal population, with over half of Ashmont's clients coming from an Indigenous background.

The partnership between Anglicare staff, and the Parish, and its volunteers is a lynchpin between those living in social housing and the surrounding community. The partnership fosters respect and tolerance for all members of the community.

The judges were impressed that this parish partnership had been successfully helping the Ashmont community for over sixteen years. While Ashmont Community Resource Centre has been the key partner, other agencies in the local parish have also played an important role. The judges also commended the Survive and Thrive model.

Research and Resources

New research and resources: Rental Affordability Snapshot, Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, Grattan Institute, and the OECD

Rental Snapshot 2019Rental Affordability Snapshot: National Report
Anglicare Australia
The Rental Affordability Snapshot is designed to highlight the lived experience of looking for housing while on a low income. It focuses on the Australian population who earn the least income – Commonwealth benefit recipients and minimum wage earners.

The report is available here.


Regional Snapshots 2019Rental Affordability Snapshot: Regional Reports
Anglicare Australia member agencies
This report collates each of the regional snapshots which combine to make the national Rental Affordability Snapshot. It includes valuable local insights into rental affordability across every region that Anglicare services.

The report is available here.


Commonwealth Orange Book 2019Commonwealth Orange Book 2019: Policy priorities for the federal government
Grattan Institute
A federal election is an opportunity to take stock of how Australia is doing, where it’s going, and what governments can do about it. This report from the Grattan Institute suggests priorities for the next Commonwealth Government.

The report is available here.


Cutting the Safety NetCutting the Safety Net: The impact of cuts to Status Resolution Support Services
Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) is a safety net for vulnerable people seeking asylum who are excluded from mainstream support services in Australia. Over the past two years, the government has cut its budget for the SRSS safety net by 60%. This report finds that the cuts have put thousands of people at risk of compounded poverty, deteriorating health and homelessness.

The report is available here.


Under PressureUnder Pressure: The Squeezed Middle Class
OECD
This report sheds light on the multiple pressures on the middle class. It analyses the trends of middle-income households through dimensions such as labour occupation, consumption, wealth and debt, as well as perceptions and social attitudes. It also discusses policy initiatives to address the concerns raised by the middle class, by protecting middle-class living standards and financial security in the face of economic challenges.

The report is available here.

Policy, consultations and grants

Policy, consultations and grants

NDIS Thin Markets Project
The Department of Social Services and the National Disability Insurance Agency have commissioned the NDIS Thin Markets Project to develop strategies to address supply gaps in ‘thin markets’ in the NDIS. The project will examine options for different cases. Noting that there is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach to addressing thin markets and related challenges, the ultimate focus of the project is on making sure NDIS participants affected by ‘thin markets’ challenges have access to the supports they require.

Submissions close on Friday 31 May 2019. More information is available here.

Better Connections: Your health, your say
The Australian Digital Health Agency is holding a consultation to develop a blueprint for a more digitally connected health system. The Interoperability Program seeks to connect patient information from multiple systems and sources to enhance clinical outcomes, improve healthcare delivery and improve patient experiences within the health system. Feedback is invited through a survey.

Survey responses close on Friday 14 June 2019. More information is available here.

Inquiry into general issues around the implementation and performance of the NDIS
The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme is conducting this inquiry, which aims to identify broad systemic issues relating to the implementation and operation of the Scheme. After 30 June each year, the committee reports to Parliament on recurrent issues that have arisen and offers recommendations intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Scheme.

Submissions are open, and no closing date has been nominated. More information is available here.

Priority Assist
Telstra’s Priority Assist program offers a higher level of service for customers, or someone living at their home, with a diagnosed life threatening medical condition. Eligible customers are entitled to faster connection and fault repair of their fixed-line telephone service. This may be of interest to many Anglicare clients or their carers.

Applications can be made at any time. More information is available here.

Sector Events

Sector Events, April 2019

Child Aware Conference
The 6th national Child Aware conference will be held in Brisbane, 16-17 May 2019. The conference will advance the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009–2020, the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022, and the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The conference program will encourage thought leaders to stimulate discussion on how to make Australia an even better place for children, young people and their families. Registration and other information is available here.

National Families Week
Registration is now open for National Families Week 2019. The Week will be held from 15 May, the United Nations International Day of Families, to 21 May 2019. Organisations, businesses and individuals are encouraged to celebrate National Families Week by planning and holding a National Families Week event. More information is available here.

Child Inclusive Practice
The 2019 Child Inclusive Practice Forum Rebuilding, Restoration and Renovation, acknowledges family breakdown is not a finite concept. Reflecting this our speakers will cover wide ranging topics to enrich the practice of Child and Family Therapists, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners, Family Law and Childhood Specialists. The CIP Forum will be held 3-5 June 2019, at DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin, Northern Territory. Registration and other information is available here.

National Redress Scheme: Direct Personal Response Immersion Sessions
Registered are invited to attend an information session on direct personal response, one of the three elements of redress available under the National Redress Scheme for institutional child sexual abuse. The ‘immersion’ sessions will be delivered by the Department of Social Services, and will offer an introduction and overview of direct personal responses under the Scheme. Several session times are available up to June 2019, and the sessions are free. Participants can register here.

Anglicare Australia National Conference
Our Stories: The Power to Change is the theme for Anglicare Australia’s National Conference, to be held in Perth from 8–11 September 2019. This year's conference will capture our work and builds on our mission. As Anglicare Australia Network members, we work in hundreds of communities across Australia to build resilience, inclusion and justice. And as a Network, we are always sharing stories of change as we advance our mission. Delegates will be treated to concurrent sessions from experts from across the Anglicare network; outstanding keynote addresses; and networking opportunities throughout the three days. Registrations are now open at events.anglicare.asn.au.

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