ANGLICARE: more cheap homes needed

ANGLICARE says more affordable housing is desperately needed in NSW as high rents and lack of social housing stock leave many low income families out in the cold.

ANGLICARE Sydney’s Rental Affordability Snapshot identified rental property listings available on the private market for a weekend in April and compared these with the ability of people on low incomes to pay for the advertised rates.

Of the 1,111 properties available for rent in Parramatta:

Only three properties were affordable and appropriate for households receiving income support without putting them in rental stress

A further 49 properties were available to these households if they were willing to pay 30-40% of their income on rent

60 properties were suitable for households on the minimum wage without spending more than 30% of their income on rent

“In order to keep a roof over their head many people will go into severe rental stress spending more than 30% of a very limited income on rent. This leaves very little for food and payment of utilities such as electricity,” said Sue King, ANGLICARE Sydney’s Director of Advocacy and Research.

“Our research indicates that people will go without food in order to pay their rent and this is particularly problematic in households with children. We are very concerned what the latest budget may mean for people on the aged pension, disability support, and Newstart who are privately renting.”

No rental properties in Sydney were considered to be affordable and appropriate for single people on Newstart, Disability Support or Youth Allowance.

“We need the federal government to communicate a clear vision for affordable, sustainable housing across the country.  The loss of the National Rental Affordability Scheme and the lack of a guarantee for funding for homeless services will further exacerbate the housing crisis for low income families,” said Ms King.

“The freezing of eligibility thresholds for aged pensioners, people with a disability and carers will also steadily erode income to a point which will lead to deeper and more entrenched poverty for these groups.”

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