AnglicareSA’s Rental Affordability Snapshot has revealed that for most South Australians on low incomes and government allowances the basic necessity of affordable housing is more and more becoming an unobtainable dream.
The annual Anglicare report that surveyed available rental properties in South Australia on Saturday 14 April 2012 showed that less than 2 per cent of available housing was both affordable and appropriate for most low income households.
With so few affordable housing options available to meet the needs of people on low incomes more and more South Australians are facing homelessness and housing stress.
Anglicare CEO Dr Lynn Arnold said the rising rate of unaffordable housing was impacting all areas of Anglicare’s work in the community.
“As the threat of homelessness and housing stress looms for an increasing number of people the need for us to provide services and supports necessary to create sustainable change in people’s lives grows significantly,” Dr Arnold said.
“Social housing is more than just putting a roof over people’s heads. We need Adelaide to be the kind of city that meets people’s needs and allows them to thrive but this means prosperity that is spread throughout the city with everyone having the opportunity to live well.
“Affordable and secure housing enables individuals and families to be independent and participate in their community through social engagement, education and employment.
“Finding a way to grow the amount of social housing available in South Australia will require new thinking and strong partnerships between not-for-profit organisations and state and federal governments,” Dr Arnold said.
AnglicareSA tenant Lidia Inarukundo has benefited from one such partnership.
Lidia and her four children arrived in Australia five years ago and were assisted by Anglicare’s Refugee Housing Program before moving into an AnglicareSA Housing Association property in October 2007.
When Lidia was asked to foster three additional children her three bedroom home was considered inappropriate so an arrangement was made with Families SA for a transportable addition to be located at her Anglicare property. Lidia and her family will soon be appropriately housed in a five bedroom home.
“That will make a big difference to the way the children and I live,” Lidia said.
“Anglicare has helped me to not move all the time. I have had an Anglicare home and look after it but without the extra rooms no one had any privacy.”
For the purposes of this survey, an affordable property was one which cost less than 30 per cent of the household’s income (including their basic Centrelink payment, Rent Assistance and Family Tax Benefit if applicable).
If the household would pay more than 30 per cent of its income in rent, then it would be considered to be in ‘housing stress’, rendering the property unaffordable.
The survey assumes that a room in a share house or bedsit is only appropriate for a single person, a property with at least one bedroom is appropriate for a single person or couple, and a property with two or more bedrooms is appropriate for parents with children (as long as it allows a separate bedroom for each child).
Properties were assessed for affordability and appropriateness for a number of different household types deriving their income from government allowances and pensions.
- Of the 341 private properties for rent across metropolitan South Australia 189 properties (6%) were affordable for a couple with two children. Only 53 (2%) were affordable and appropriate.
- For a single person with two children, only 80 properties (2%) were affordable, and from this 10 (less than 1%) were affordable and appropriate.
- There were 80 properties (2%) affordable and appropriate for a couple on an aged pension with no children.
- For a single person with one child, on the Single Parenting Payment, 43 properties in the metropolitan area were affordable; however, only 2 of these were appropriate.
- A single person on the Age Pension or the Disability Support Pension had the choice of 9 properties.
- Single people on Newstart or Youth allowances could not afford any advertised private housing.
Contact: Katrina McLachlan M: 0414 972 537 or
Jenny Barrett, M: 0408 717 025 P: (08) 8305 9301