No rental options left for young people on benefits

House for rent sign. | Newsreel
Queensland renters are battling higher rent rises than the rest of Australia. | Photo: Lazing Bee (iStock)

There are no rental options for young people living on Government benefits in Australia.

Anglicare Australia‘s latest Rental Affordability Snapshot found that a person on the Youth Allowance could not afford any of the 45,111 rentals listed in Australia on the weekend of March 16 and 17 this year.

And for a person on Jobseeker, there were three properties, all share houses, which were affordable.

The survey found those on a Disability Support Pension could only afford 0.1 percent of the rental stock (31 rentals) and those on the aged pension 0.2 percent (89 rentals).

Workers earning a full-time minimum wage could afford 289 rental properties across the country, or 0.6 percent of the listings.

Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said the housing crisis was the worst it had ever been.

“We’ve never seen such bad results for people on the minimum wage, with affordability halving for a single person in the last two years. Even couples with both partners working full-time are locked out of nearly 90 percent of rentals,” Ms Chambers said.

“People on Centrelink payments are being pushed out of housing altogether. A person on the age or disability support pensions can afford less than one percent of rentals. For a person out of work, it’s zero percent – and that includes the highest rate of rent assistance.”

Ms Chambers said that the Government must step up instead of leaving housing to the private sector.

“We found that the Government spends eight times as much propping up private investors as it does on building housing itself. This approach is wrong, and it’s supercharging rents and house prices.

“Housing cannot be left to hobby landlords and private developers. Only our Government can ensure that rentals are affordable by building homes itself, and by fixing Australia’s unfair tax system,” she said.

“Instead of spending billions on tax breaks for investors, the Government should be building the housing we need.”