People on low incomes are facing tough times finding affordable accommodation in Sydney and the Illawarra. This finding was underlined again through ANGLICARE Sydney’s second annual Rental Affordability Snapshot.
This report was based on a survey of just under 11,500 advertised private rental properties on 13-14 April 2012 in the Greater Sydney and Illawarra regions. Based on this survey, less than 1 per cent(0.6%) of properties listed were affordable to low income households. In actual numbers, this was only 25 properties, with only one within 20 kilometres of the Sydney CBD.
A low income family is considered to experience “housing stress” if it spends less than 30 per cent of its total income on rent, yet the most appropriate private rentals for a family cost between 30 to 45 per cent of its income. Those who are most affected are single person households and single parents.
The survey highlights many important issues because the ratio of public housing has steadily declined in the past decade, thereby placing more need for low-income households to look for private rentals. However, if trends continue Sydney will be desperately short of nearly 120,000 dwellings by 2036 which will dramatically affect those living on government benefits and low incomes.
The snapshot has revealed an extreme shortage of low-cost private rentals leaving those on low incomes with little or no choice as to where they will live since the majority of affordable properties were located up to 2-3 hours away from the Sydney CBD.
The snapshot concludes with a number of recommendations for federal, state and local governments which include immediately increasing the funding for 8,000 additional social housing dwellings in New South Wales, increasing the Commonwealth Rental Assistance which has not keep pace with increasing rental costs and undertaking analysis of social housing waiting lists to determine priority needs for construction of social housing.
You can download a full copy of the report by going to www.anglicare.org.au or contacting us on 13 26 22.