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Newstart renters squeezed in capitals

02 December 2019 Lyall Russell
Hobart

Renters in the Tasmanian capital are doing it the hardest, as Hobart remains Australia’s least affordable city to rent.

Adelaide is the second least affordable, followed by Sydney, in the latest Rental Affordability Index (RAI).

The report compares the price of rents with household incomes based on the rental agreement.

Rental affordability is better in some cities, including Sydney, which used to be the second most unaffordable. However, tenants who rely on Newstart find it tough, as rent consumes at least 77 per cent of their income in all capital cities.

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“Newstart renters in metro Sydney require 4.5 times their current income to achieve affordability. The most affordable places we have are in regional SA and even there someone on Newstart needs to pay 47 per cent of their income to rent,” National Shelter executive officer Adrian Pisarski said.

“The RAI evidence is conclusive: all Newstart recipients who are renting are living in poverty. The situation is only marginally better for single and dual pensioners who also face unaffordable rents everywhere in Australia.”

Those who rely on Newstart experience the most stress when it comes to housing, and are the most vulnerable group in the country, SGS Economics and Planning partner Ellen Witte said.

“After paying the rent, there are not enough resources left, and people may not even be able to fork out money to go to a job interview. There is an urgent need to raise the Newstart allowance and provide these households a pathway out of the poverty trap.”

More than a million households across Australia need some form of housing assistance that many working families struggle to come up with their rent, Mr Pisarski said.

“Renting households on incomes below $60,000 per annum have no affordable rentals in our cities, including all capitals and nearly every centre on the east coast. In the WA mining regions, even those earning up to $85,000 face unaffordable rents,” he said.

Newstart renters squeezed in capitals
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