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Australians on government support payments can only afford six percent of rental properties, according to a report by Anglicare.

Report highlights:
 – 485 rentals were affordable for a single person on the Disability Support Pension
 – 180 rentals were affordable for a single parent with one child on Newstart
 – 3 rentals were affordable for a single person on Newstart
 – 2 rentals were affordable for a single person in a property or share house on Youth Allowance
 – 0 rentals were affordable for a single person on Newstart or Youth Allowance in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin or Perth.

A snapshot of the more than 67,000 rental properties available across Australia on March 24 by the advocacy group found only 3,729 were affordable for households on government income support payments.

Only one percent of rental properties in Sydney – 57 out of more than 18,000 – were found to be affordable, despite a 28 percent increase in rental market supply.

“These results show that finding an affordable and suitable home to rent in the private market is extraordinarily challenging,” the Anglicare report released today reads.

For single people on the aged pension there was just over one percent of properties suitable nationwide and for those on the Disability Support Pension 485 rentals were affordable.

There wasn’t one rental property affordable for a single person on Newstart or Youth Allowance in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin or Perth on a specific day in March.

Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said that the rental crisis is getting worse:

“Making sure everyone has a home should be our first priority. But the reality is that our housing system is failing millions of Australians,” Ms Chambers said.

“Our system is rigged against renters. The tax system is driving up the cost of rent for millions of Australians.

“Almost all of our major cities have become unaffordable for people on low incomes. But this Snapshot also shows that regional areas failing to offer relief.

“There is a huge shortage of secure, affordable rentals. That’s causing record levels of rental stress and even homelessness.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. We are calling for an urgent investment in affordable rentals for people in need. And we need a national plan to make renting fair for a generation of people who might never own their own home.

“We can and must tackle homelessness and rental stress – and ensure that everyone has a place to call home,” Ms Chambers said.

Anglicare wants negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions phased out and the billions saved to go towards social and affordable rental housing for those in need.

It is also calling for a boost in Commonwealth Rent Assistance and changes to state and territory laws regarding renter’s rights.

The group calculates affordability on the premise rent needs to be no more than 30 per cent of a household budget.

The snapshot is available to download as a pdf, or online at www.anglicare-ras.com.

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