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Minimum wage workers can only afford 859 rentals listed nationally. Image – Canva.
  • House prices grew by 2.2% nationally in May
  • A national homelessness campaign fears more Australians will be left behind
  • Only 386 rentals were deemed affordable for a single aged pensioner

CoreLogic figures released have shown house prices increased nationally, ranging from a 1.1% jump in Perth during May to a 3% rise in Sydney, with the growth rate nationally at 2.2%.

Everybody’s Home – an Australian-wide campaign to end homelessness – said the heat of the market is generating unsustainable debt for many new purchases, thus threatening to leave many Australians behind.

Kate Colvin, the campaign’s spokesperson, said that expanding social and affordable housing is the best solution to tackling the heated housing market. “We need to release the housing pressure by giving more options to those who can’t participate in the boom,” she said.

“Cheap money is like rocket fuel for house prices. Unfortunately, this inevitably leads to higher rents, unsustainable debt loads and worsening affordability.

“Social and affordable housing is a big part of the answer. It can moderate the effect of higher house prices and higher rents by giving those on low and modest incomes a realistic alternative.”

Kate Colvin, Everybody’s Home

Ms Colvin’s remarks come as Anglicare released its Rental Affordability Snapshot, which surveys affordability across the approximately 74,00 rental listings in Australia.

The survey’s findings for those on social security payments is staggering.

Only 386 properties were affordable for a single person on the Age Pension – about 2.5 million Australians are on the aged pension, according to March 2021 data from the Department of Social Services. It should be noted, however, this figure includes couples and those receiving partial pensions.

236 rentals were deemed affordable for those on a Disability Support Pension – there are about 750,000 Australians on this pension.

3 rentals, including share houses, were affordable for a person on JobSeeker – in March there were about 1.1 million Australians on this payment.

0 rentals or share houses were cited as affordable for a person on Youth Allowance. Excluding students and apprentices, 129,000 Australians are receiving Youth Allowance.

Even for those working and receiving the minimum wage – which is $753.80 for a 38-hour week or $19.84 per hour – only 859 rentals were considered affordable.

Everybody Home has previously called for a “social housing Homebuilder” adding such a program would have both social and economic benefits.

“Stable housing is necessary to get a job, look after your health and your family. Instead of cheering on the housing boom we should be giving everyone the benefit of housing,” concluded Ms Colvin.

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