Anglicare SA

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.

Source: Anglicare Australia

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.

Last weekend the Better Places Stronger Communities team was supported by the community to finalise the Place Making activities at The Elizabeth Grove Shops.

In the week leading up to the Working Bee the Playford Men’s Shed supported by the projects group installed three bench seats, Free Grow Cart and chess table and stalls. Urban Visons prepared the holes for the trees, removed old trees and hedged the overgrown plants along the fence line.

The City of Playford donated their line marking team for half a day to mark a disabled car park and the two directional arrows to help people find their way through the car park appropriately.

The Working Bee day was a huge success with approximately 20 community members rolling up their sleeves to help improve the look of their local shops.

We planted 7 trees and mulched all of the garden beds. The cob webs were removed and shops dusted and painted, the fence was cleaned and painted and we had a few young people paint hopscotch in front of the Mural. We lined marked the two ends of the car park using a template made by the Playford Men’s Shed.

The Grow Cart was filled and community have been bringing new items on a daily basis and swapping them for others. It’s great to be a part of Free Grow Cart movement bringing more people to the shops for positive interactions.

The Feedback throughout the week has been incredible with all of the shops owners receiving positive comments about the obvious changes.

Some community members from AnglicareSA units that back onto the shops have taken it upon themselves to clean up the back area of the shops throughout the week clearing a large amount of rubbish and leaf litre and clearing the drains in the area. Being the change they would like to see in the community.

Thank you to all that were involved, The Grove Shops now look clean, fresh, and inviting. Increasing community pride and demonstrating if we try things they might just work!

Homelessness can happen to anyone.

You often hear it said that many people “are just one or two pays away from being homeless”. There is more to homelessness than people sleeping on park benches or in doorways.

For some it’s sleeping in a car. For others it’s sleeping on a friend’s couch or in the garage of a relative. This is the reality of life without a permanent home.

Worryingly we are seeing increasing numbers of employed people and older women entering into homelessness.

 

Financial stress and the cost of living are now higher than ever before. Working families are struggling to make rental or mortgage payments and are at risk of losing their home.

Housing affordability is a huge problem. There is a social and affordable housing crisis right across Australia. Without suitable and secure affordable rental properties, more and more individuals and families will end up with nowhere to call home.

Of course, housing is not the only problem. Poverty (particularly for those receiving Centrelink benefits), domestic and family violence, drug and alcohol abuse and mental health issues are all major contributors to homelessness.

We must attack the problem on all fronts, including an urgent increase in the supply of social and affordable housing, tailored support services, and a multi-agency approach.

Adelaide has taken a lead role with its aim to become the first Australian city, and one of a handful in the world, to achieve functional zero homelessness. That means we are looking to act on the most visible form of homelessness first, rough sleeping, with the aim that on any given night, Adelaide would have enough accommodation to house all rough sleepers in the city.

The Adelaide Zero Project has already taken important steps, having met all those sleeping rough in the city in order to know them by name and have an understanding of each person’s specific circumstances and needs. This personal approach is seeing relationships built with the right service providers.

Existing and new housing options will be better utilised to move people on the by-name list into sustainable housing. Tier 1 housing providers such as AnglicareSA have commenced the process of sourcing and matching suitable housing with those in need.

Through the Zero Project, the community sector, business groups and all levels of Government are working together to end chronic street homelessness in Adelaide.

We welcome the effort of the 30-plus agencies dedicated to making this initiative a reality for Adelaide. We encourage others to add their support for this project which aims to not just reduce homelessness, but end it!

– Michelle Gegenhuber – AnglicareSA General Manager, Housing and Homelessness Services

Adelaide’s rental affordability is at crisis levels and it’s even worse if you are single.

A single person on income support has no chance of finding private rental accommodation across Adelaide’s metropolitan area, according to the findings of Anglicare’s latest Rental Affordability Snapshot.

The results of the survey highlighted that of the 3,222 private rentals advertised on the day the snapshot was taken, not even one was affordable and appropriate for a single person on income support.

Only 1,261 or 39 percent were affordable and appropriate for households on the minimum wage.

AnglicareSA CEO Peter Sandeman said the snapshot clearly demonstrates the huge challenge faced by many people in the community trying to access the private rental market in Adelaide.

“While the results do not make for happy reading, they are not at all surprising,” said Peter. “In fact, they are telling us what agencies like AnglicareSA see and hear every day and that’s housing affordability is at crisis levels for Adelaide’s low income earners and the situation is not improving.”

“The unfortunate reality is that if you rely on income support and you want to access the private rental market, then there is very little hope.”

The snapshot found that all household types relying on an income support payment had access to 123 properties, or 3.8 percent of the rental market, much the same as a year ago. However, difficulties for home-seekers are further compounded by the fact that there were 439 fewer properties on the day we conducted the survey compared to 2017.

The National Rental Affordability snapshot 

The Rental Affordability Snapshot is designed to highlight the lived experience of looking for housing while on a low income. It focuses on the Australian population who earn the least income – Commonwealth benefit recipients and minimum wage earners. Each year, Anglicare Australia agencies search local newspapers and real estate websites for rental accommodation across the country.

This years reports are available on the Anglicare Australia website.

In October 2015, as part of the State Government’s Better Places Stronger Communities (BPSC) initiative, AnglicareSA began the management of 479 dwellings in Elizabeth Grove/Elizabeth Vale.

The Elizabeth Grove/Elizabeth Vale management transfer is based on the principles of property, people and place. This means working as partners alongside our tenants and seeking to provide quality housing and housing pathways within vibrant and safe communities.

Since the Elizabeth Grove/Elizabeth Vale management transfer, AnglicareSA Housing’s dedicated team have been amongst the local community delivering the shared vision of a vibrant and engaged community.

Click here to read more about recent tenant events and initiatives in Elizabeth Grove/Elizabeth Vale.

Key Stats

  • 897 tenants
  • 479 Properties managed in Elizabeth Grove and Elizabeth Vale
  • 5000 plus visits to local office
  • $1.91 million spent on improvements and maintenance since October 2015
  • $381,000 spent on Affordable Living Initiatives
  • 91% Tenant Satisfaction Rate overall
  • 96% Tenant Satisfaction Rate Urgent repairs completed
  • 99% Occupancy rate
  • 71 community events
  • 1178 people engaged in 2016/2017

AnglicareSA Housing met with the community to find out how they feel about the work of AnglicareSA in Elizabeth Grove, watch the video here: