This year’s Anglicare Australia Rental Affordability Snapshot undertaken on 21 March has found that of the 2,369 private rentals advertised in South Australia, only 3.5 per cent of appropriate houses (82 properties) were affordable for households across all categories of income support.
But if the Federal Government’s temporary increase to income support payments is applied (an extra $550 per fortnight), 25 per cent (602 properties) become affordable for South Australians doing it tough.
AnglicareSA CEO Peter Sandeman, said this increase must be made permanent.
“For South Australians doing it tough, this additional payment is more than a supplement, it gives them the opportunity to put a roof over their heads,” he said.
This payment increase is a solid step in the right direction, but there is a cruel twist: the only household type that significantly benefits is those where two parents are both receiving the JobSeeker payment.
While the Federal Government increased JobSeeker, those relying on youth allowance and parenting payments, the disability support payment and the aged pension, missed out.
“As welcome as this payment is, we must acknowledge that increases to income support will never be enough,” Mr Sandeman said.
“They are part of a solution, but so is increasing the supply of social and affordable housing.”
Mr Sandeman urged the Federal and State Governments to continue to prioritise those in need, particularly as we face an uncertain economic future.
“The State Government has done a great job in accommodating over 300 South Australians experiencing homelessness in hotels and motels during the COVID-19 crisis. But as the Premier has said, we don’t want these people to fall back into homelessness,” he said.
Mr Sandeman said the social housing market is in “dire straits”.
“The shortage is nothing new — but by placing priority on helping South Australians into housing now, we can boost our economy into the future.
“An increase to income support, combined with an increase to social and affordable housing supply, will address social issues – whilst boosting the economy for all South Australians.”
AnglicareSA manages more than 2,100 social housing properties across Adelaide, supporting those in need to continue their journey across the housing continuum.
What is ‘affordable’ and ‘appropriate’?
The Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot 2020 surveyed rental properties available in the Adelaide area on 21 March 2020 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 for enough bedrooms for adults and children living in the property.