The Abbott-Turnbull Government’s lack of action on addressing housing affordability is leaving lower income Australians in every state and territory struggling to secure rental housing that they can afford.
The Anglicare National Rental Affordability Snapshot, released today, shows that only a tiny proportion of the rental properties available on the market are within reach of low-income earners and those on government payments.
Young people and single parents with dependent children are particularly disadvantaged when it comes to finding affordable rental properties with the report finding that less than 5% of the 75,410 rental properties on the market surveyed would be accessible to single people with children, those on the aged pension or young people on New Start payments.
The Abbott-Turnbull Government has had three ministers for housing this term and has not released any plans or strategies to deal with the growing affordability problem with housing.
ABS data reports that there are 657,000 low income households across Australia living in rental stress and 318,000 low income households in mortgage stress in 2013-2014. At the same time 185,000 households remain on waiting lists for public or community housing across the country.
On census night 105,000 Australians were homeless.
Instead of coming up with a way to deal with this problem the government has instead chosen to reduce homelessness funding by $132m, cut funding to organisations that work to support those in housing stress and abolish schemes designed specifically to increase the supply of affordable rental properties in Australia like the National Rental Affordability Scheme, introduced by the Labor Government in 2008.
It is an indictment on Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Social Services Christian Porter that they have failed to respond to an issue that is affecting more and more Australians, both in the cities and in the regions.
When it comes to the regions of the 18,103 properties analysed, there was not one property suitable for a single person on Youth Allowance, only 15 properties for singles on New Start and just 164 properties for a single parent on New Start across the entire country.
Today’s report is just the latest in a long line of concerning reports on this issue confirming that the time for action is now. Malcolm Turnbull must follow Labor’s lead and outline its plans to deal with the problem of rental and housing affordability.
THURSDAY, 21 APRIL 2016