Finding a cheap place to rent
Keep this number in your mind next time you’re looking for a place to rent: 29. That’s the number of homes deemed affordable for single people on Youth Allowance or Newstart. They looked at stats for rentals on the weekend of 1 2 of April this year.
Of the more than 67,700 properties listed on market in metropolitan and regional parts of Australia, just a handful were affordable for young people whose sole income is from support payments.
Not one single property was affordable if you lived in Western Australia, Northern Territory, ACT, http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ Sydney or Brisbane. Central Queensland had the most affordable properties but even then there were only eight in the region.
Single people earning the minimum wage (around $35,000 a year) have a few more options, but not many.
“Singles on a minimum wage could find 1,914 suitable rentals, equating to 2.83 per cent of the total private rentals on the snapshot weekend,” the report said.
Tackling renters’ rightsAnglicare reckons insecure housing is a major problem, too. A report out earlier this year found that a massive number of renters live under the threat of eviction meaning they’re more likely to put up with crappy accommodation and high amounts of rent so they won’t get kicked out.
And as Hack reported, young people are the most likely to report rental discrimination that is, that landlords discriminate against them because of their age.
Anglicare wants a new blueprint put in place that spells out renters’ rights, so that people feel more secure in their accommodation.
Housing affordability is likely to be a key part of this year’s federal budget, due out on May 9.
Back up how do you decide what’s ‘affordable’?Generally speaking, if you’re paying more than 30 per cent of your income on rent, and you’re in the bottom 40 per cent of national incomes, you’re considered to be in housing stress.
For low income people, rent is a major expense.
If you’re over 18, single with no children, and live away from home, you get $437.50 a fortnight (or $11,375 a year) in Youth Allowance.
If you’re single with no children, you get $535.60 a fortnight (or $13,925.60 a year) in Newstart.
Around 781,000 Australians are on Newstart, and around 275,000 young people are on Youth Allowance, according to the most recently available figures.
The Anglicare report found that these people are the most disadvantaged in the private rental market.
“The survey shows that a single person on Youth Allowance and Newstart would find it almost impossible to find an affordable home anywhere in Australia, whether regional or metropolitan,” the report said.
Affordable rentals for any single person on government pensions were essentially non existent.”
Single parents, cheap jerseys and people on the Disability Support Pension (DSP) don’t fare much better.
“No properties were available for a single parent on Newstart in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Darwin, Hobart or Brisbane,” the report said.
“Only 586 or 0.9 per cent of properties Australia wide are affordable for people living on the DSP. There were no affordable properties in Sydney, Brisbane or Darwin; only 2 in Canberra and Hobart, 4 in Adelaide and 5 in Melbourne and Perth,” it said.
What can be done about rental affordability?It’s important to note that this report only looks at private rentals. So public housing that is, housing provided by the states and territories isn’t included.
Anglicare lists a few recommendations for how to make the private market more affordable.
Firstly, it wants government payments for things like Newstart and Youth Allowance to be increased.
At current levels, income support payments are trapping people in severe rental stress, leaving people in a situation where they have to trade off other things essential to their health and wellbeing in order to pay rent.”
It says pausing Youth Allowance payments for an additional four weeks a proposal that first popped up in the 2014 federal budget but has yet to pass the Senate would have a devastating impact on people already doing it tough.
Anglicare wants the creation of a new affordable housing corporation, so that community housing can be built with government backing. Something similar already exists in the United Kingdom.
It also wants the Government to wind back tax concessions like negative gearing and capital gains tax and pour the money saved into community and public housing instead.