YOUNG Parramatta mothers with no place to go are being forced into homelessness. This is the very real concern of Anglicare Sydney's director of advocacy Sue King.
"At Carramar we offer young vulnerable women, who are pregnant or with children, supported accommodation and [a range of] services for 18 months and then try and exit them into housing in the community but, increasingly, we feel we are exiting them into homelessness in the area around Parramatta," she said.
Her comments follow the release of Anglicare's latest national Rental Affordability Snapshot, which found households that reled on income support — such as Parenting Payment — to avoid rental stress enjoyed next to no housing choice in Parramatta's private market.
The snapshot compared the property listings on April 13 and 14, 2012 with the availability of prospective renters to pay the advertised rates without going into rental stress.
The finding was that on April 14 there were no appropriate rental properties for households receiving income support and who spent less than 30 per cent of their income on rent.
Single parents earning the minimum wage of $37,000 could choose from five properties.
Single parents and couple families could choose from 319 and 508 properties, respectively, if they spent 30-45 per cent of their income on rent.
The cheapest suitable property a single parent with two children receiving Parenting Payment could apply for on the day — a two-bedroom property in Wentworthville — was listed at $260.
"We're actually really concerned that it's almost impossible for single parents and people on Newstart [Allowance] to afford a house to rent," Ms King said.
"We have families coming through our [Community Care] Centres experiencing extreme rental stress and, as a consequence, not being able to put food on their tables. Rising electricity prices is another crunch."
Anglicare will lobby the federal government for 8000 new public housing dwellings by 2020 and 4000 dwellings under the National Rental Affordability Scheme. It also wants a plan to protect the supply of affordable housing.