Less than 1 per cent of rentals affordable on low incomes

Research launched by Anglicare Sydney reveals that despite more listings of rental properties compared to 2018, less than 1% were affordable for people on low incomes in Greater Sydney and the Illawarra.


Anglicare Sydney’s Rental Affordability Snapshot analysed more than 23,900 rental properties that were available in Greater Sydney and the Illawarra region on the weekend of 23-24 March 2019.


Of the 23,921 properties advertised, only 66 were affordable and appropriate for households on income support payments without placing them into rental stress; 50 affordable and appropriate properties were in Greater Sydney and 16 were located in the Illawarra.


“The report reveals that many on supported incomes are still struggling to keep a roof over their heads,” explains Grant Millard, Anglicare Sydney CEO.


“While the overall pool of rental properties has increased, less than 1% are affordable for the people who turn to us for support. For many, keeping a roof over their head means spending 30% or more of their income in rent, pushing them into rental stress.


“For those struggling below the poverty line, that doesn’t leave much for food, utilities, transport costs and unexpected bills. In some instances, trying to maintain a home can entrench people in financial need, and hinder families from breaking that cycle of disadvantage.”


No rental properties in Sydney and the Illawarra were affordable and appropriate for single people on the Parenting Payment, Disability Pension, Newstart or Youth Allowance.


There were few suitable properties available for other household types, including:

  • singles on the Aged Pension (7 properties)
  • couples with two children on Newstart (11 properties)
  • single parents with two children on the Parenting Payment (1 property).


“Australia needs to see changes across the housing spectrum. For too many people, paying the rent means they can’t afford to eat decent food, fill a prescription, pay for transport, or buy clothes. Instead of supporting people to live, keeping a roof over their head often means entrenching many in poverty,” explains Mr Millard.


“And now older Australians are getting stuck in expensive and insecure rentals – at a time in their life when stability is more important than ever.


“Anglicare Sydney is building affordable rental properties for older people, runs a housing assistance program for older people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness; and SHIFT, a housing transition program for refugee families or families experiencing domestic violence. But many more homes are desperately needed," says Mr Millard.


See www.anglicare.org.au for an in depth look at rental affordability in Greater Sydney and the Illawarra Region and www.facebook.com/ANGLICARESydney

Twitter: #rentalsnapshot2019 #AddressRentalStress


Anglicare Sydney’s Rental Affordability Snapshot is part of a national project led by Anglicare Australia to assess national rental affordability for low income households.


See https://www.anglicare.asn.au/our-work/research-reports/the-rental-affordability-snapshot for the national snapshot.


29 April 2019.