Samaritans releases Rental Affordability Snapshot 2019

Rental Affordability Snapshot logo

Local research launched today by Samaritans has highlighted the lack of affordable rentals for some of the most vulnerable people in our community, with the release of the Rental Affordability Snapshot for 2019.

This research proves we need all levels of government to commit to eliminating homelessness and making housing affordable and accessible to every Australian

The snapshot highlights the hardship faced by people looking for housing while on a low income; single mothers, people looking for work and people over 65 on a pension are all facing a rental market that they cannot afford.

Samaritans collected data from each region it operates within, and the findings show that for people on low incomes, finding a place to call home that is affordable and appropriate for their needs is often impossible.

Image showing data from Rental Affordability Snapshot report

Without people and their stories these datasets are meaningless. It’s people we see in our communities every day who are facing incredible hardship by not having somewhere affordable to live.

People who are facing homelessness and trying to get by on low incomes aren’t disconnected from the world we live in. Rental stress and homelessness impacts the mum you see at school drop off. The pensioner who waves at you at the paper shop. Your son’s best friend.

When Samaritans emergency relief and housing services meet people, they are either on the brink of eviction or they are already homeless.

The brink of eviction looks like the pensioner in Cessnock Samaritans currently supports with food packages because he fell behind in his rent after paying car registration and making up his rent payments means he’ll have to go without food.

For people that then do lose their rental property – often through no fault of their own, such as an owner selling the property – homelessness is not where they’d ever think they’d end up, and it takes a massive toll on people’s mental health.

Many young people Samaritans supports through our youth housing services in Newcastle have complex pasts of trauma and mental illness. Young people who can’t stay at home because of drug abuse in the household often end up homeless, couch surfing with friends or sleeping on the beach.

How do we expect these young people to study, work or thrive when they don’t have a safe home?

We need all levels of government to commit to eliminating homelessness and making housing affordable and accessible to every Australian.

In the lead up to the Federal Election, Samaritans is voicing its support for the Everybody’s Home campaign (http://everybodyshome.com.au/) and calling for the government to develop a National Housing Strategy to meet Australia’s identified shortfall of 500,000 social and affordable rental homes.

Download Samaritans Rental Affordability Snapshot Report 2019. This report covers east coast NSW regions of the Central Coast, Cessnock, Great Lakes, Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Singleton, Taree and the Upper Hunter.

The National report, collated by Anglicare Australia, includes Samaritans data alongside data from around the country, and can be viewed via https://www.anglicare.asn.au/.