Time for national action
April 28 2022
A national plan of investment in social housing is needed to tackle the Australia-wide shortage of affordable rentals, says Anglicare Tasmania.
The 2022 Rental Affordability Snapshot for Tasmania, released today, shows people on low incomes in our State have little hope of securing a private rental.
The Snapshot reviewed all properties listed for rent in Tasmania on a weekend in March, then assessed if they were affordable and appropriate for 14 types of households on low incomes. The Snapshot found that of the 714 properties listed statewide:
- one property (a sharehouse) was affordable and appropriate for a person on Youth Allowance;
- two properties were affordable for a single person on JobSeeker;
- four properties were affordable and appropriate for a family where both parents received JobSeeker payment;
- 16 were affordable and appropriate for a single parent family where the parent was working full time on the minimum wage;
- 22 were affordable and appropriate for a couple on the Age Pension;
- 53 were affordable for a single person on the minimum wage (mostly sharehouses).
“For a rental to be affordable, it must cost no more than 30% of household income, or that household will experience financial hardship,” said Noel Mundy, Anglicare’s General Manager Housing and Community Services. “It also needs to be appropriate. Many of these listings were for sharehouses or were located in remote or regional areas with reduced access to jobs and other supports.”
Anglicare Tasmania called for greater cooperation by all levels of government to improve access to affordable housing.
“Underinvestment in social housing comes at a cost,” said Mr Mundy. “The better path is a strong housing system to provide security and stability.”
The Snapshot shared personal stories of Tasmanians struggling to find and afford suitable housing.
“Anglicare knows that the increased cost of rentals and everyday essentials means people’s income does not stretch as far as it used to,” Mr Mundy said. “Our frontline workers are seeing people across a wider demographic experiencing financial hardship and unable to afford basics.”
“Voters desperate for action”, says Anglicare Australia
The Tasmanian information forms part of a national Snapshot compiled by the Anglicare Australia network.
Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said that ahead of the Federal election, all parties must commit to a plan of action on housing.
“There has never been a better time for candidates and political parties to step up, and make sure every Australian has a home,” she said.
“We’re calling on whoever wins the election to raise JobSeeker and other payments above the poverty line. “And we’re calling for a big boost to affordable housing,” she said. “We need 500,000 new social and affordable rentals across Australia. Investing in housing is the most powerful way to make the market more affordable, and boost regional communities doing it tough after the pandemic and floods.
“We’re asking all parties and candidates to walk the talk, and join us to end this crisis for good.”
Anglicare Tasmania is a signatory to the following national campaigns:
Anglicare Australia was a signatory to an open letter from church providers that calls on all candidates in the upcoming Federal election to commit to being a Member of Parliament who works to address poverty and disadvantage. Read the letter here.