New research shows bleak rental market

The rental market in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Hunter, Central Coast and Mid North Coast of NSW has no affordable options for young people on Newstart or Youth Allowance.

Research undertaken by Samaritans in April has shown that out of more than 3000 available rental properties, none are affordable or appropriate for young people on benefits.

Samaritans CEO, Peter Gardiner, said he is disappointed that the housing situation had not improved for the regions most vulnerable.

“Young people who are unemployed are often the most vulnerable group and, without proper supports and accommodation options, can easily fall into a cycle of poverty,” Mr Gardiner said.

The research also looked at rental affordability and appropriateness for the groups in society on the lowest income including singles on a minimum wage, single working parents, the aged and the unemployed.

“What we’re seeing is that the most vulnerable in these areas- those without work, those who are aging and those raising children on their own- simply cannot afford the rent.

“Affordable housing comes down to how much weekly income people spend on rent, and the reality is those on lower incomes are forced to spend too much of it on rent.

“Samaritans too-often sees people coming to us for emergency relief assistance because they’ve spent so much of their income on rent they can’t afford to put food on the table or pay their electricity bill,” he said.

The research was undertaken by analysing the number of rental properties advertised during one day in April and assessing affordability (30% of weekly income on rent) and appropriateness (accessibility, number of bedrooms).

In this election year Samaritans, along with the wider Anglicare Australia network, is calling for tax system reform that multiplies cheaper rental housing, an increase in housing stock that better meets the different needs of people, and a commitment to grow the supply of social housing.

This research from Samaritans was undertaken as part of Anglicare Australia’s national “Rental Affordability Snapshot” for 2016.

Rentalaffordability_Snapshot inforgraphic_2016