Calls for reform to rent assistance
National housing campaign Everybody’s Home is calling on the federal government to reform rent assistance as today’s increase is set to be eclipsed by high rents.
From today, the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance for singles is increasing by $27.60 to $184.80 a fortnight. The payment for a family with one or two children will increase by $32.34 to $217.28.
Everybody’s Home spokesperson Maiy Azize said rents in many areas have increased by hundreds of dollars a week in the last three years and were set to continue to grow.
“This increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance is welcome but it will be swallowed by the high cost of rents and further hikes,” Ms Azize said.
“Today’s increase to the payment won’t be enough to lift many renters out of housing stress and many vulnerable people will miss out on the rise entirely.
“As rents have soared since the pandemic, rent assistance has not been keeping pace. On top of this, the payment excludes many of those on the lowest incomes, with two in three people on JobSeeker ineligible.
“Rent assistance needs a major shake up – it must be indexed to better reflect rent paid, and help people who need it the most.
“Reforming the payment will provide immediate relief to renters but the key solution to fixing the rental crisis is building enough social housing to end the huge shortfall.”