This year’s annual Anglicare Australia Rental Affordability Snapshot clearly shows that the housing crisis continues to deepen and broaden, finding that of the 1,788 private rentals advertised in Adelaide on 26 March 2021, zero per cent of properties were affordable and appropriate for single people reliant on income support as their primary income.
This includes those on age pension, disability support pension, JobSeeker or Youth Allowance, and single parents with children.
The situation was not much better for families with both adults on JobSeeker, with only four per cent of properties considered affordable and appropriate.
Just 28 per cent of properties were suitable for households living on the minimum wage without placing them in housing stress.
AnglicareSA’s Executive General Manager of Housing, Michelle Gegenhuber, said the Snapshot clearly demonstrates that rental unaffordability is once again at crisis levels, after a brief reprieve for some last year thanks to COVID-19 supplement payments.
“The increased COVID-19 JobSeeker payments received by many in 2020 saw some 25 per cent of properties become affordable for South Australians doing it tough,” she said.
“With the supplement now gone, and only a minor permanent increase to the JobSeeker payment, the crisis we’ve seen for years in Adelaide has returned and it is even more dire than before COVID.
“The results of this Snapshot indicate that in March 2021 there were half the number of affordable and appropriate private rentals than advertised in March 2020.
AnglicareSA manages more than 2,100 social and affordable properties across Adelaide and has a long-term strategy in place to significantly increase its stock of affordable and community housing.
“Alongside a greater permanent increase to income support payments, we desperately need to build more social and affordable housing to ensure families aren’t left without a roof over their heads,” said Michelle.
“A coordinated, systemic and holistic approach is vital if we’re to address the housing crisis and ensure everybody has a place to call home. In a country like Australia, it is simply not good enough that we accept and do not address a systemic market failure that excludes so many in our community from safe and secure housing.
What is ‘affordable’ and ‘appropriate’?
The Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot 2021 surveyed rental properties available in the Adelaide area on 26 March 2021 using listings on realestate.com.au.
Properties are considered affordable when they cost less than 30 per cent of the household’s income. Appropriate properties allow enough bedrooms for adults and children living in the property.
The survey does not consider suitability of properties regarding physical accessibility, nor does it account for suitability of neighbourhood or region.