Anglicare’s annual Rental Affordability Snapshot has provided a unique insight into the impact embedding the temporary increase in some income support payments would have for those struggling to secure housing.
The snapshot was taken only days before the Commonwealth Government announced a temporary, six-month increase to some income payments in response to the pandemic. It found that only 3 per cent of all properties in Australia advertised for rent were affordable and appropriate for households on government income support payments.
For households on minimum wage it was 22 per cent.
For those receiving the Disability Support Pension, only 245 properties in the whole of the country were affordable and suitable.
Anglicare then recalculated the figures to see how they would be impacted if the government’s Coronavirus Supplement increase to income support was ongoing.
It found couples with children where both parents are receiving Jobseeker Payment would be able to afford more than 11 per cent of properties, up from 1 per cent.
Couples where one parent is receiving minimum wage and the other the Parenting Payment (Partnered) would see a 10 per cent increase.
Singles, including those with children, would see little improvement in affordability. The situation for those on the Disability Support Pension and the Aged Pension was unchanged, as there were no increases to their payments.
Anglicare Australia is calling for a permanent adoption of the $275 per week increase for Jobseeker, Youth Allowance, Austudy and Parenting Payment recipients; an expansion of the increase to cover people on the Disability Support Pension, Carers and Aged Pensioners with accommodation costs; an expansion of the Jobseeker Payment to cover migrants, people seeking asylum, and international students; and , the creation of an Independent Social Security Commission to review and set government income payments.
The Everybody’s Home campaign is citing the snapshot results in its push to have housing included in any stimulus package, permanently increase income support, and to keep up the pressure for long-term action on homelessness.
You can support the campaign by signing the Everybody’s Home petition.
Click here to view Anglicare’s 2020 Rental Affordability snapshot.