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Rental snapshot paints worrying social picture

22 May 2014 Staff Reporter

New research has revealed that more affordable housing is desperately needed in NSW as high rents and lack of social housing leave many low-income families out in the cold.

The recent Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot found just 0.3 per cent of Sydney rental homes are considered to be both “appropriate and affordable" for households on government income support payments.

 The Rental Affordability Snapshot analysed 12,164 properties that were available in greater Sydney over one weekend in early April.

Of these properties advertised, only 33 were affordable and appropriate for households on income support payments without placing them into rental stress.

Sue King, Anglicare Sydney’s director of advocacy and research, said that in order to keep a roof over their heads many people will go into severe rental stress, spending more than 30 per cent of a very limited income on rent.

“Our research indicates that people will go without food in order to pay their rent, and this is particularly problematic in households with children. We are very concerned with the onset of winter and what this may mean for people on the aged pension, disability support, and Newstart, who are privately renting,” said Ms King.

The report found that couples receiving the aged pension had the greatest number of suitable properties available to them, with 22 across Sydney. However, single-person households on the aged pension only had seven properties that were affordable.

“If the method of indexing the age pension is changed, we are concerned more older people, who are just managing to maintain their homes at the moment, will be forced into rental stress or lose their homes altogether,” said Ms King.

According the the snapshot, no rental properties in Sydney were considered suitable for single people on Newstart, Disability Support or Youth Allowance.

People on the minimum wage fared a little better, with just eight per cent of Sydney rental properties deemed appropriate and affordable for households earning the minimum wage.

Rental snapshot paints worrying social picture
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