Private rentals out of reach

Anglicare SA’s 2013 Rental Affordability Snapshot shows private rental is largely out of reach for anyone receiving government payments.

The report, compiled annually by Anglicare, revealed that less than two per cent of properties were both affordable – costing less than 30 per cent of income – and had enough bedrooms to accommodate a couple with two children. Less than one per cent of properties were affordable and appropriate for a single parent with two children.

There was less than one per cent of affordable or appropriate housing for single parents with one child or single people on the Age Pension, Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance.

Anglicare SA chief executive officer The Reverend Peter Sandeman says the results reveal the battle many low-income earners face when looking for rental accommodation.

“Anglicare SA supports thousands of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness as well as those who are suffering from housing stress and spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent,” Rev’d Sandeman says.

“Affordable, safe and secure housing is a cornerstone of life and everyone in South Australia is entitled to have a place they can call home.

“Anglicare SA urges all levels of government to consider the ways our community can best meet the needs of our most vulnerable. We know that when people have secure and affordable housing they are able to move from surviving to thriving, and that’s the best outcome for everyone in the community.”

Keryn Ronay experienced the lows of homelessness before she moved into an Anglicare SA-supported home in the southern suburbs.  Ms Ronay, 38, says a stable home has been the launchpad to a better life for herself and her three children.

“Being a single parent I know there is a lot of stigma out there. Being on Centrelink benefits usually isn’t sound enough for a lot of people to say ‘yes, you can rent this property’,” Ms Ronay says.

“We’ve been here in an Anglicare house three years now and it’s fantastic. The feeling is I can actually relax, my anxiety has gone down, and so has the anxiety of my youngest daughter.

“I’ve actually gained employment. My son who was living with us has gained employment, my eldest daughter lived with us and gained employment in the area.

“With Anglicare housing you have a support worker and they keep you on track.

“A house is an absolute life-changer. Now I’m pinching myself and thinking things can’t get any better.”

Researchers from Anglicare SA surveyed 1707 rental properties available in the Adelaide region on Monday, February 15. Researchers used as it is a real estate website which allows both agents and private landlords to list properties.

Researchers also used to search for rooms for rent for single people. Of the 135 properties surveyed the outcomes were better, as just one room was required. For single people earning the minimum wage of $1098 a fortnight, every property was affordable and appropriate. For singles on the Age Pension 61 per cent of rooms were affordable and appropriate while singles on the Disability Support Pension had 49 per cent of affordable and appropriate rooms.  However, singles on Newstart or Youth Allowance had just two per cent and one per cent of affordable and appropriate rooms available to them.