The Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot, released today in Canberra, shows a continuing decline in rental affordability in the ACT.
The report, now in its ninth year, shows a long-term decline in affordable private rental properties in the ACT with no properties available across almost all household types surveyed*.
The 2018 report surveyed over 67,000 properties in regional and metropolitan areas from every state and territory (1078 in Canberra), and tested their affordability for 14 low income household types*. The survey took place on Saturday 24 March 2018 (types of households and major findings can be found below).
The exceptions were households earning a minimum wage and receiving family benefits, and people receiving the aged pension, however in these categories less than 2% of properties were within reach, down from 6.7% and 3.4% respectively in 2015.
Singles earning a minimum wage fared only slightly better with 4.4% of properties listed as affordable, however, this was also a significant fall from the 2014 figure of 8.6%.
Anglicare Chief Executive, Jeremy Halcrow, said the ongoing dire situation facing families in the nation’s capital is cause for major concern.
“This alarming downward trend requires an immediate response. The situation is critical and cannot continue without creating further pressure on families already struggling, in some cases literally deciding between whether to pay rent or groceries,” said Mr Halcrow said.
“More public housing is needed and should be located close to transport, particularly with the reduction in public housing in the city centre where a number of community services are located. Greater protection is also needed for renters who are at risk of unaffordable rent hikes.”
The findings reflect the situation experienced by **Nikki, a single mother living in a refuge in Canberra.
“Unless you’ve got a pretty good job, there’s just no chance of finding a property you can rent – especially if you don’t have a regular income and you’re relying on government help,” said Nikki.
“It’s difficult to apply for work when you don’t have a stable address. The anxiety is really hard – it takes a toll on you.”
In conclusion, the report found that: ‘our housing system is failing millions of Australians. Our system is rigged against renters. The tax system is driving up the cost of rent for millions of Australians. There is a shortage of secure, affordable rentals. And more and more people have been pushed into rental stress and hardship.’
*Types of households:
- Single people receiving the Disability Support Pension, Youth Allowance, Newstart and the Aged Pension, or earning minimum wage;
- Single parents receiving the Parenting Payment or earning the minimum wage;
- Couples including an elderly couple without children on the Aged Pension, and couples with children on Newstart, Parenting Payment, earning the minimum wage or a combination of these options.
Out of 67,365 rentals, it was found that:
- 485 rentals were affordable for a single person on the Disability Support Pension;
- 180 rentals were affordable for a single parent with one child on Newstart;
- 3 rentals were affordable for a single person on Newstart;
- 2 rentals were affordable for a single person in a property or share house on YouthAllowance;
- 0 rentals were affordable for a single person on Newstart or Youth Allowance in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin or Perth.
**Not her real name.
Do you agree that with the Rental Affordability Snapshot 2018 that rental affordability is declining in the ACT?