Australia’s Rental Crisis Worsens

An annual report from an Australian Charity focussed on housing affordability is making alarming claims about housing insecurty in Australia, especially for those dependent on welfare. The Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot is taken annually, using real estate listings from a single weekend to give a picture of what the housing market looks like to the most vulnerable in society, including those on the aged pension and unemployment benefits. The report, in line with Australian norms,  defines affordable housing as costing less than 30% of household income. It found, among other things, that the number of houses affordable to a single person on Newstart (the Australian unemployment benefit) to be only 2, down from 3 the year before and 21 the year before. It notes that neither of these dwellings is in a major metropolitan area, and that the poor and unemployed have been essentially priced out of the major cities.

The report goes on to say that data from the Department of Social Services shows “there are nearly half a million Australians on government income support who pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent.”, and calls for action to address housing affordability and raise the amount of various government welfare payments.

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