A new rental report has found only 1.6 per cent of private Aussie rentals are actually affordable to a single person who works full-time (me), so forget buying a house, at this point we’re just trying to have any roof over our heads.
Anglicare Australia released their annual Rental Affordability Snapshot and beware, it’s a fkn doozy.
The report looked at 45,992 rental listings on realestate.com.au available across Australia over a single weekend in March this year. Then it took that data and looked at how many of the properties were affordable to different types of low income groups — singles on minimum wage, people on Youth Allowance, disability payments or JobSeeker, couples with children and seniors on pension. It defines “affordable rent” as costing 30% or less of your income.. RIP to those of us definitely spending more than that on rent (also me).
In appalling but unsurprising news, barely any of the properties were affordable to low income people.
There was only one affordable option (literally 0 per cent) for people on Youth Allowance. Like, in the whole country.
Only 51 (0.1%) rentals were affordable for people on the Disability Support Pension, and that’s without checking if those homes would meet specific accessibility needs.
There were only seven options that were affordable for single people on JobKeeper and all of of them were sharehouses. For a single person who works full-time on minimum wage, there were only 720 (1.6%) affordable rentals. Again, I’m talking about in the entire country.
The stats didn’t get much better for couples.
A couple on the age pension would only be able to afford 663 (1.4%) of what was on the market. For a couple on JobSeeker with two children, there were only 78 rentals in their price range. Only two were in metro areas of Victoria and none of them were in Sydney.
It’s worth noting that 45,000 houses on the rental market is also a low number — last year’s report evaluated rentals at the same time of year and found there were 74,2666 listings. So not only is rent super expensive right now, there are also less houses up for grabs — making things even more competitive. Basically, we’re fighting for scraps.
Anglicare’s report argues that rental assistance should be increased by 50% to keep up with the way our rental market is going.
“I think many politicians still feel that renting is a transitory living experience,” Anglicare Australia’s executive director Kasy Chambers said, per The Guardian.
“For many people, it’s not. There are more and more Australians renting for longer and longer. It’s an invisible part of housing.”
As someone who has grown up in a rental and will probably forever live in one, I feel seen. My single mum doesn’t own a home, meaning I’m not going to inherit one.
For so many young people, renting isn’t something temporary we do, it’s probably how we’ll always live because buying a house is so unattainable.
On top of all this, the cost of living in Australis is reaching new heights. How TF are we meant to afford ridiculous rental prices when even things like cucumbers now cost $15/kg??
The fact is, we can’t. And that’s why cost of living is such an important issue in this year’s federal election. Let’s make those votes count.
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