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There is no affordable housing in Canberra. Official

johnboy 30 April 2013 40

The ABC brings word of an Anglicare report showing there is no housing in Canberra that could be called affordable:

The report found among the people it surveyed there were no affordable houses for single parents, people on Newstart or Youth Allowance.

Anglicare ACT’s Jenny Kitchin says the situation is not much better across the border.

“A lot of people who haven’t been able to afford to either buy or rent in Canberra have move out to Queanbeyan, so Queanbeyan has really become just as problematic as the ACT,” Ms Kitchin said.

The report defines an affordable rental property as one which took up less than 30 per cent of a household’s income.

“For example, if I was a single person on Newstart allowance, and if I paid 30 per cent of what I get on my benefit I could only afford $80 a week to pay for rent,” she said.

“Now we know that in Canberra rental properties are at least two or three times that cost.

“So it makes it extremely difficult.”

“But what about all the years of multipoint plans from earnest looking government ministers” I hear you cry.

Psalm 146 retains words to live by:

Put not your trust in princes

When advice stays good for 3,000 years don’t hold your breath for the next 6 point plan to get over it.


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40 Responses to There is no affordable housing in Canberra. Official
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Dilandach Dilandach 9:53 am 30 Apr 13

I wonder what the inevitable incoming purge of the APS is going to do for house and rent prices in canberra?

    johnboy johnboy 9:55 am 30 Apr 13

    well for those on benefits it’ll be great.

    for everyone else losing their jobs a long way to fall.

Rollersk8r Rollersk8r 10:20 am 30 Apr 13

Fulltime student forced to share accommodation!!? Wow, things must be really bad!

kea kea 10:34 am 30 Apr 13

When I was a single mum living in Sydney, an apartment for my daughter and I was usually somewhere between 45-55% of my income. If I was living on my own in this current apartment, it would be more than 60% and last time I checked allhomes there wasn’t a cheaper option available. If my relationship went bust, I would literally be homeless with zero options.

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 10:44 am 30 Apr 13

The report found among the people it surveyed there were no affordable houses for single parents, people on Newstart or Youth Allowance.

Anglicare ACT’s Jenny Kitchin says the situation is not much better across the border.

“A lot of people who haven’t been able to afford to either buy or rent in Canberra have move out to Queanbeyan, so Queanbeyan has really become just as problematic as the ACT,” Ms Kitchin said.

Right, let me see if I have this right. People in Canberra on benefits cannot afford housing, so they are migrating to the mean streets of Queanbeyan?

The poor souls, I wouldn’t inflict Queanbayn on my dogs!

But seriously.

How cheap a house would Ms Kitchin*, like built, and how many? How does she suggest there is a financial benefit for someone one to build such a house?

Or shall we take it that Ms Kitchin**, would like the taxpayer to fund more Stuart Flats and the like to provide for the benefits claimants.

* Stop tittering.

**I said stop it!

devils_advocate devils_advocate 11:04 am 30 Apr 13

the newstart and youth allowances (predecessors such as Austudy) weren’t designed as a sole source of income. They were meant to supplement incomes. Full time students are allowed to get part-time jobs and earn a fair bit of money before their benefits get cut. In fact, they used to allow an ‘income bank’ which allowed earnings to be averaged over a very long period so that you wouldn’t get caught out by fluctuations in work/pay.

Expecting the taxpayer to provide an allowance that funds your study in full is at the least unrealistic, and at worst sets up bad incentives.

Also as someone outlined above, it’s not intended that it will fund a student to live in their own home, rather to subsidise share accomodation.

So in summary the claim of unaffordability is not supported by the examples given.

peebus peebus 11:07 am 30 Apr 13

As someone once told me “We live in a public service town honey, deal with it and move on”.

As a side note, I saw the Anglicare Interview on the local news last night. The usual case story they ran showed someone on who I wouldn’t describe as ‘doing it tough’. I know there are a lot of different variables involved but the person they showed had a large screen TV, a fairly large DVD collection, brand name food in her cupboard/fridge, and body piercings (which I’m told aren’t cheap). Frankly until you cut down on things like these there is always money to be found in ones household.
Call me heartless if you will, but these people need to try a little harder. Sure there are certainly people who are struggling, and they have my deepest sympathies, but they aren’t usually the ones who cry poor from the rooftops. Rather that throwing more money to people through the government handouts and Centerlink, perhaps they could sit down with someone and develop a weekly/fortnightly budget and see how much money they can save first…

thebrownstreak69 thebrownstreak69 11:15 am 30 Apr 13

We should definitely be making sure that housing is cheaper for our friends who always seem to be able to afford smokes, booze and tatts.

poptop poptop 11:21 am 30 Apr 13

Dilandach said :

I wonder what the inevitable incoming purge of the APS is going to do for house and rent prices in canberra?

Probably as little as with the previous APS purges have done: a small blip and then it just carries on.

We forget that existing home owners are still the majority of households and they have a vested interest in house prices being maintained and also tend to be the voters that are vocally against increased housing density in their neighbourhood.

Housing affordability means that either prices have to drop or they need to be static until entry level buyer’s incomes catch up. This is electorally unpalatable. It is still much more attractive to keep in good with the 70% of households that own or are buying their homes than pander to the other 30%.

Increasing density, managing land release, adjusting planning regulation for inclusionary zoning and to reward smart affordable housing development is all within the control of Government. The trouble is the voting public doesn’t really want it, if it means their own housing asset will depreciate or languish.

Don’t even look at the tax settings that are designed to benefit investors and home owners over households that aspire to home ownership.

Overall it is much easier to hope for some external event to create affordable housing, and express shock and dismay.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 11:21 am 30 Apr 13

This report is another reminder of the bubble, of sorts, which has developed in Canberra and region accommodation costs (with similar problems in much of the rest of Australia) – a perfect storm of greed and short-sighted, “I’m alright, Jack” policies

kea kea 12:27 pm 30 Apr 13

peebus said :

As someone once told me “We live in a public service town honey, deal with it and move on”.

You know what really jerks my chain about living in Canberra? You all sit on your high-horses and look down at those who aren’t blessed with a job in the public service.. you teach your kids to be like you.. 19 year olds are leaving school and getting entry level jobs on excellent incomes.. but it isn’t life in the real world, it’s life in a bubble that is the A.C.T..

Where is the entrepreneurship? Where is the ground swell of the next generation coming through with innovative ideas? the Start-Up culture that creates something from nothing and turns into a company that provides jobs to the community?

Instead we have families with third generation public servants.. That’s our legacy…..

You prefer urban sprawl and decreased housing density to maintain the value of your suburban McMansion and couldn’t give two shits about affordable housing “options” for non-public servant types like students, single parents, immigrants etc etc.. Yes OPTIONS! How’s that for a novel idea.. in Canberra it’s either a 3 bedroom house for $495 a week or a 1 bedroom apartment for $495 a week..

It’s not something that anyone needs to “get over and deal with”.. I think it says that something is horribly wrong with the culture of our city and the midset that if you’re not blessed with a public service income the answer is to get a public service income?!

/endrant

Alderney Alderney 12:57 pm 30 Apr 13

HiddenDragon said :

This report is another reminder of the bubble, of sorts, which has developed in Canberra and region accommodation costs (with similar problems in much of the rest of Australia) – a perfect storm of greed and short-sighted, “I’m alright, Jack” policies

Whilst the Crimes deals specifically with Canberra, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you’ll find the report dealt with all capital cities and the story is much the same everywhere.

This is not a Canberra centric issue. It is an issue of the age.

And if you are to believe the older generation it really is just a continuation of the norm. It’s all relative they say.

bigfeet bigfeet 12:57 pm 30 Apr 13

kea said :

It’s not something that anyone needs to “get over and deal with”.. I think it says that something is horribly wrong with the culture of our city and the midset that if you’re not blessed with a public service income the answer is to get a public service income?!

Well that’s not the only option. As much as i would like to, I can’t afford to live in a 4 bedroom penthouse on Sydney Harbour or in Monaco.

So I don’t live there. I live somewhere I can afford to live. Maybe people could consider that option.

Martlark Martlark 1:00 pm 30 Apr 13

There is plenty of affordable housing if you are prepared to share and or compromise. But; if you want a nice house all to yourself; you’re out of luck.

NoImRight NoImRight 1:02 pm 30 Apr 13

kea said :

peebus said :

As someone once told me “We live in a public service town honey, deal with it and move on”.

You know what really jerks my chain about living in Canberra? You all sit on your high-horses and look down at those who aren’t blessed with a job in the public service.. you teach your kids to be like you.. 19 year olds are leaving school and getting entry level jobs on excellent incomes.. but it isn’t life in the real world, it’s life in a bubble that is the A.C.T..

Where is the entrepreneurship? Where is the ground swell of the next generation coming through with innovative ideas? the Start-Up culture that creates something from nothing and turns into a company that provides jobs to the community?

Instead we have families with third generation public servants.. That’s our legacy…..

You prefer urban sprawl and decreased housing density to maintain the value of your suburban McMansion and couldn’t give two shits about affordable housing “options” for non-public servant types like students, single parents, immigrants etc etc.. Yes OPTIONS! How’s that for a novel idea.. in Canberra it’s either a 3 bedroom house for $495 a week or a 1 bedroom apartment for $495 a week..

It’s not something that anyone needs to “get over and deal with”.. I think it says that something is horribly wrong with the culture of our city and the midset that if you’re not blessed with a public service income the answer is to get a public service income?!

/endrant

Without launching into a tirade ……My understanding is most people in Canberra dont work for the PS . I might be wrong no inclination to look up any actual figures but I guess who needs facts that might not gel with a well thought out spray aimed at a vast demographic who only have a general occupation in common?

So many people like to rag on the PS from the outside perpetuating urban legends . I suspect often to justify to themselves that they are better off because they have “real” jobs and work for a living. They wouldnt be happy as a PS because they have a work ethic.

So….who do you think administers public housing for these people you are so concerned about? Whose taxes (admittedly without any individual consent) also contribute to funding for the housing? Who works Centrelink? Who works in Community Services? Who collects the taxes used to fund the programmes? I could go on in gretaer detail but I suspect reality is not something you have an interest in. Easier just to find someone to blame.

BTW Im not a third generation PS and as a single parent for 20 years have a pretty good idea of what actual difficulties there are.

peebus peebus 2:00 pm 30 Apr 13

kea said :

You know what really jerks my chain about living in Canberra? You all sit on your high-horses and look down at those who aren’t blessed with a job in the public service.. you teach your kids to be like you.. 19 year olds are leaving school and getting entry level jobs on excellent incomes.. but it isn’t life in the real world, it’s life in a bubble that is the A.C.T..

Where did I say I worked in the PS? I don’t, and to be honest I can’t stand most of those that do. But believe it or not they’re the ones on their overly inflated salaries that are pushing up the cost of living in Canberra because they’re willing to spend their dough willie-nillie without questioning prices.

kea kea 2:11 pm 30 Apr 13

NoImRight said :

So….who do you think administers public housing for these people you are so concerned about?

The same people who have several investment properties and jack the private housing rent up, pushing people towards looking at public housing options.. that’s who..

kea kea 2:13 pm 30 Apr 13

peebus said :

kea said :

You know what really jerks my chain about living in Canberra? You all sit on your high-horses and look down at those who aren’t blessed with a job in the public service.. you teach your kids to be like you.. 19 year olds are leaving school and getting entry level jobs on excellent incomes.. but it isn’t life in the real world, it’s life in a bubble that is the A.C.T..

Where did I say I worked in the PS? I don’t, and to be honest I can’t stand most of those that do. But believe it or not they’re the ones on their overly inflated salaries that are pushing up the cost of living in Canberra because they’re willing to spend their dough willie-nillie without questioning prices.

You didn’t.. it was just a general finger wagging rant that wasn’t directed as you per se..

clj clj 2:23 pm 30 Apr 13

NoImRight said :

most people in Canberra dont work for the PS .

Correct, only about 44% of Canberra’s workforce is employed directly by federal or state government, according to the 2011 Census. And Canberra’s employed people are only 54% of Canberra’s population, so in reality, only about 24% of the humans who live in the ACT are employed by the government – but like, some have school or whatever. Slackers.

bigfeet said :

Well that’s not the only option. As much as i would like to, I can’t afford to live in a 4 bedroom penthouse on Sydney Harbour or in Monaco.

So I don’t live there. I live somewhere I can afford to live. Maybe people could consider that option.

You’ve got to be awfully careful about moving to Woop-Woop when you’re on Centrelink because they will kick you off for HALF A YEAR if you go somewhere with worse unemployment by 2% or more. It specifically says in the law that cheaper accommodation is not a valid reason. I don’t think most people realize this. Doesn’t help that Canberra and Queanbeyan have relatively low unemployment. http://guidesacts.fahcsia.gov.au/guides_acts/ssg/ssguide-3/ssguide-3.2/ssguide-3.2.1/ssguide-3.2.1.35.html
Plus whatever it costs to move – 4 weeks rent, moving your stuff, etc. Not that people shouldn’t be realistic, but it’s a lot more complicated than just up and leaving. And we should also consider that it would really suck for all the public servants if all the childcare workers, cleaners, youth workers etc etc moved to Deniliquin because they can’t afford to live here.

Rollersk8r Rollersk8r 3:32 pm 30 Apr 13

Martlark said :

There is plenty of affordable housing if you are prepared to share and or compromise. But; if you want a nice house all to yourself; you’re out of luck.

Well, except if you’re the fulltime student in the news piece – then you get brand new public housing all to yourself.

harvyk1 harvyk1 5:18 pm 30 Apr 13

thebrownstreak69 said :

We should definitely be making sure that housing is cheaper for our friends who always seem to be able to afford smokes, booze and tatts.

Here is an interesting thought (and I’m being serious on this one).

Lets just say someone who blows money on smokes / booze / tatts, who then cries poor to the gov’t and get’s hand outs, really that much different than someone who plays the politics games at work to get ahead? Both are groups of people who are simply doing all they can to look after number one.

And whilst people who blow their money on smokes / booze and tatts without setting any aside for normal costs of living certainly need their priorities straightened out, are they really that different than someone who maxes out their credit card to purchase the latest brands and go on OS holidays?

Of course one is considered a drain on society, and yet the other is often marked as a winner, and yet surely we have all seen the people who are good at playing office politics, but couldn’t do an hour of actual work if their job depended on it. How are they that much different?

(For the record I am not on any sort of gov’t assistance, and I don’t smoke or have tatts, I don’t put OS holidays on CC’s either)

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