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Rental crisis

Tuesday, 30th April, 2013

Broken Hill's single people - including single parents - are bearing the brunt of the national rental crisis, according to Anglicare.

In Broken Hill, there are no properties affordable and appropriate for single individuals or single parent families on Newstart or Youth Allowance, according to Anglicare's annual national rental affordability snapshot.

Only one Broken Hill property was affordable for singles on aged or disability pension. Meanwhile, just five percent of properties were affordable and appropriate for singles on the full-time minimum wage.

"One of the most distressing issues is that we have single parent families paying for rents on the private market far beyond their means," said Anglicare's Simon Bennett, Director of Community Services for NSW South and West.

Anglicare's report showed that on Saturday, April 13, when the Anglicare network surveyed 56,414 rental properties across of Australia, less than one per cent of the properties listed were suitable for anyone on Newstart allowance, parenting payment, aged pension or disability support pension.

A property is usually deemed affordable if its costs under 30 percent of someone's income.

"If governments are serious about helping single people move into the workforce, they must take more note of the difficulties low waged workers are already facing in making ends meet," Mr Bennett said.

"The fact remains that low-paid and particularly part time workers are still unable to afford housing."

The adequacy of Newstart in general also needs to be seriously questioned, he said.

"Anglicare was unable to find any affordable housing for singles or single parents on Newstart," he said.

"This suggests that the Newstart for singles needs to be adjusted to reflect the reality of the housing market.

"In particular, Rent Assistance needs to be increased to assist singles and families on low paying benefits."

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