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Debt is taking its toll on home owners

Low income earners blocked out of rental market

30th April, 2013No Comments

The high cost of living in Australia is taking its toll on the almost 2 million Aussies living below the poverty line.

A new survey has revealed less than 1% of rental properties across the country are suitable for low income earners.

The Rental Affordability Snapshot report, produced by Anglicare surveyed 56,414 rental properties in Australia and found only a small fraction of homes in certain areas of the country were considered affordable for people on Newstart allowances, parenting payments and aged or disability support pensions.

To be an affordable rental home, it needed to take up less than 30% of the households’ income.

So if a single person on the Newstart allowance was looking for an affordable rental home, they would only be able to afford $80 a week for rent.

The nation’s poverty line is currently set at half the national median income. Government benefits such as the Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance are set below this line leaving one is eight people in poverty in Australia.

The Rental Affordability Snapshot is released every year in the hope the shocking results will inspire change.

Anglicare, along with other groups and institutions are calling for an increase to government funding to ensure people living in Australia are afforded an opportunity, not poverty.

Anglicare believes the federal government needs to look at increasing the commonwealth rental assistance by at least 30 per cent and adding an extra $50 a week to the Newstart Allowance and other Centrelink benefits.

Currently, State governments are looking at creating community housing options for people and investing in public housing to resolve the issue.