Someone surviving solely on Newstart or Youth Allowance payments has been entirely priced out of the Australian rental market, with a damning new study showing that person would be able to reasonably afford only three out of 66,000 properties for rent in March – 0.00004 percent, Ten Daily reports.
Anglicare’s annual rental snapshot, released in April, paints a grim picture of the housing situation for those living on government welfare payments. The report found there were effectively zero affordable options for those on the age pension, disability pension, parenting payment, Newstart or Youth Allowance.
Anglicare looked at 66,424 properties advertised for rent on March 24, analysing the rental prices against the amounts available under those payments. Housing is generally deemed to be ‘affordable’ if it costs no more than 30 percent of a household’s income.
Under that criteria, there were only two affordable properties in the country for someone on Youth Allowance, and just three for a Newstart recipient; only 413 for a single person with two kids on the parenting payment; 406 for someone on the disability pension; and just 2700 properties out of 66,000 were affordable for someone on the aged pension.
Rental affordability was slightly better in rural and regional areas than the major cities. Anglicare noted Sydney had an “extraordinary crisis in affordability” with zero percent of properties affordable for anyone surviving on welfare payments.
“I don’t know how much more critical it can get when you’re dealing with rates of zero,” Paul McDonald, CEO of Anglicare Victoria, told ten daily in April.
“Federal governments from both sides have been asleep at the wheel on this one for too long. This is now our most critical social infrastructure crisis.”