Advocacy, Housing

Rental affordability crashes: new report

Written byChristine Tondorf
Published on01 May, 2023

Social Futures says a new report on renting again shows the urgent need for the Federal Government to invest in more social housing in the forthcoming budget.

The annual Anglicare’s Rental Affordability snapshot shows there are virtually no affordable rentals for those on income support payments and less than 1% available for people earning a full-time minimum wage.

There were only 45,895 listings across the country, the lowest in the 14 years Anglicare has prepared the report. Between 2018 and 2021 the number of available rentals listed was consistently above 65,000.

None of the listings analysed were affordable for a person on youth allowance and only four rooms in share houses were affordable for a person on jobseeker. 66 rentals – or 0.1% of the listings analysed – were affordable for a person on the disability support pension.

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Kate Colvin said more social and affordable housing is sorely needed.

“Rents, electricity bills, grocery costs, petrol – everything is going up and people are at breaking point. This Budget we need immediate action to increase income support so people can pay their rent, and a significant increase in social housing investment to provide an enduring solution to the growing housing emergency,” Ms Colvin said.

“Record low vacancy and rising rents are driving more and more people into homelessness. Across Australia people are having to cut back on heating and eating, medical appointments and filling up their cars, just to make the rent. Even people on full-time wages are finding themselves sleeping in tents, caravans and on couches because they’re struggling to find an affordable home.

“Every day the Government delays delivering the investment needed to significantly grow low cost rental housing, the longer the rental crisis will continue.

“The Federal Government has the chance to deliver a life-changing Budget by investing in 25,000 social housing properties each year, and boosting income support, including Commonwealth Rent Assistance.”