How hard is it to find an affordable private rental home in metropolitan Adelaide?
It’s almost impossible for a single person on income support according to Anglicare Australia’s most recent Rental Affordability Snapshot.
Of more than 3,200 private rentals advertised on the day of the Snapshot, not one was affordable or appropriate for a single person on income support.
In fact, the National Snapshot revealed that there wasn’t one rental property affordable for a single person on Newstart or Youth Allowance in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin or Perth when the research was performed on March 24.
Like around the rest of the country, affordable housing in South Australia is drying up, while long waiting lists increase.
For many years now, stats have clearly shown low-income earners are unable to afford to rent privately.
So how does this property shortage affect our state?
The severe shortage means families are left homeless – often put up in marginal housing such as hotels or forced to sleep rough.
Without safe crisis options available, it creates a cycle of homelessness difficult to break.
Being unable to afford a home for any length of time can disconnect people from their schools, communities, and important support networks such as family and friends.
It can negatively impact physical and mental wellbeing, as a stable home and job are vital in securing healthy livelihoods.
Without these important factors, people lose a healthy sense of belonging and meaningful participation in the community.
This causes exclusion within society – for which we all end up paying the price.
In response to the shortage of appropriate crisis housing in Northern Adelaide, AnglicareSA has developed the Turning Point program.
Turning Point provides safe and stable crisis accommodation for single parent families with young children, and young pregnant mothers experiencing domestic and family violence, for up to three months.
Providing a house rather than a motel room enables spaces for children to play, a kitchen and laundry, so daily life can continue with greater self-sufficiency and normality for the family.
Since December 2016, AnglicareSA has partnered with the Wyatt Benevolent Trust, private donors and partners Beyond Bank to source and furnish seven properties and support 37 families (43 adults and 77 children). And according to Michelle Gugenhuber, General Manager Housing and Homelessness Services AnglicareSA, the Turning Point program is proving incredibly successful.
“AnglicareSA has long advocated for a Housing First response where the homeless, or those at risk of homelessness, are quickly moved into independent and permanent housing with additional supports and services provided as needed,” said Michelle.
“With 84 per cent of Turning Point participants going on to access permanent housing, this approach clearly demonstrates that safe and stable housing during crisis mitigates the risk of prolonged homelessness.”
Demand for services is increasing
We are experiencing an increase in the volume and complexities of people presenting across our AnglicareSA services.
More than 2,500 families seek support from AnglicareSA’s Northern Homelessness Service annually.
Of these, 38 per cent are fleeing domestic and family violence, 25 per cent are Aboriginal, and many are involved in the child protection system.
Domestic and family violence is a major cause of homelessness nationally. It can contribute to ‘severe social and personal disruption, poorer housing conditions and financial disadvantage’ for women and children.
We must address the social and affordable housing crisis in Australia in order to tackle the issues of homelessness.
Despite the challenges, we remain committed to addressing the urgent need for improved availability of homes.