Date Posted: 30/04/2021
Rental Affordability Snapshot (RAS), Anglicare Sydney
Anglicare Sydney has released a 2021 Rental Affordability Snapshot for Sydney and the Illawarra, alongside Anglicare Australia’s national snapshot.
The Snapshot reveals a potentially dangerous time for many low-income households in Sydney and the Illawarra in terms of housing security.
Bill Farrand, Chief Operating Officer - Community of Anglicare Sydney, explained:
“Even with a $50 per fortnight increase in JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, and Parenting Payment, there were still no affordable properties for many people relying on those payments in the private rental market across Sydney and the Illawarra.”
The Snapshot (taken between 27-28 March) surveyed almost 25,000 rental listings across Greater Sydney and the Illawarra and found that:
- No suitable rentals were found for single parents with one child on the Parenting Payment or Jobseeker, or a single person household on JobSeeker or Youth Allowance.
- 6 rentals were affordable for a single person with two children (one aged under 5 and one aged under 10) where the adult was receiving JobSeeker Payments.
- 26 rentals were affordable for a single person on the age pension.
- 117 rentals were affordable for a couple with no children on the age pension.
- 816 rentals were affordable for a single person with two children (one aged less than 5, one aged less than 10) where the adult was on the minimum wage and family tax benefit A and B.
- Minimum wage earners had a far greater chance than people on benefits of obtaining housing without being put under housing stress.
- Median rental prices for houses are at a record high of $550 per week across Greater Sydney but down by 10% for apartments to $470 per week.
The Rental Affordability Snapshot this year coincided with the end of the Coronavirus Supplement for income support payments, the end of the JobKeeper program and, in NSW, the end of the temporary rental eviction moratorium and the start of the six-month transitional period.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and recession has affected private renters across Australia, with a quarter losing income during the pandemic,” Mr Farrand said. “It’s estimated 75,000 Australians had rent debts in late 2020.
“Rental affordability across Greater Sydney and the Illawarra requires an urgent and long-term commitment from government, community, and business sectors to address.
“For some tenants, rent deferrals have meant that they have accumulated debts which, when they fall due, may cause some to be evicted.”
Mr Farrand highlighted a number of solutions federal and state governments can do to improve rental affordability:
“Immediately raise the rate of JobSeeker, to reduce poverty and rental stress among those currently unemployed.
“Increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance and reform eligibility rules for the program, to better target those people needing it most.
“51,000 applicants are on the NSW social housing waiting list with waiting times at least 5-10 years. NSW Government needs to increase the supply of social and affordable housing.
“Anglicare is already delivering 550 affordable homes under the SAHF, and we are willing to deliver more.
“Improve security and stability for renters in the private rental market, including limiting the frequency of rent increases, improving the security of rental tenures for tenants, and prohibit ‘no grounds’ evictions,” Mr Farrand concluded.
Media and Policy Officer
0417 662 357