Lower rents still too high for low-income earners

The report looks at rental affordability for different income groups (Supplied)

New analysis released yesterday revealed that while rental prices have fallen in many cities, rent is still unaffordable for low-income earners in every capital city. Source: News.com.au.

The Rental Affordability Index (RAI) is an annual report that looks at new rental agreements and affordability for different income groups including the unemployed, pensioners, two-income families and single households. It is released by National Shelter, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, SGS Economics & Planning and the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

When it comes to the unemployed, it found those surviving on JobSeeker payments in capital cities would be paying between 42 to 69 per cent of their income on rent.

This is despite the fact that the $550 coronavirus supplement introduced earlier this year basically doubled the unemployment benefit’s base rate of $565.70 a fortnight for singles.

It’s generally accepted that low-income households experience housing stress if they pay more than 30 per cent of their gross income on housing.

Meanwhile, St Vincent de Paul Society national president Claire Victory said the report was a “further indication of the urgent need for a significant injection of funding into social and affordable housing across all jurisdictions, including from the Commonwealth”.

Ms Victory said she repeated the call for the Morrison Government to “establish a social housing fund of at least $10 billion to augment the efforts of the states and territories to address the chronic shortage of safe, affordable housing in Australia”.

“Governments know there is a shortfall of over 400,000 dwellings nationally. This emergency requires a strategic, consistent plan which provides a solution for the next 25 to 30 years.”


How coronavirus has changed affordability for renters across Australia (By Charis Chang, News.com.au)

Rental Affordability Index cause for urgent action (St Vincent de Paul Society)

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