Rental snapshot and COVID-19 highlight need for new housing approach

The national Everybody’s Home campaign is calling for major changes to Australia’s housing system after today’s Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot showed just 1.5% of all rental properties are affordable for people on the lowest incomes.

The annual snapshot looked at around 70,000 rental listings and found that an overwhelming majority of rentals are unaffordable despite recent COVID-19 driven income support increases.

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Kate Colvin said the rental snapshot showed how tough it is for people on low-incomes and government support to find affordable rental accommodation.

“COVID-19 has exposed how badly broken our housing system is,” Ms Colvin said.

“In the last few months we’ve seen rough sleepers with nowhere to shelter from the virus, renters facing eviction overnight, and Australians paying so much in rent they can’t afford to stay afloat when they lose their job.

“As the economy recovers, we will also see more people experiencing homelessness than ever before.”

In order to help fix Australia’s housing system, Everybody’s Home is calling for all parties to support:

  1. Investment in 500,000 social and affordable homes to create a safety net for Australian renters – and the construction jobs and apprenticeships Australia needs to rebuild.
  2. Fairer rental laws to protect renters from unfair evictions.
  3. Permanent increases to government income support 
  4. A national plan to end homelessness within 10 years; and
  5. Changes to tax laws so that home and shelter are always more important than quick investment windfalls.

“The rental snapshot confirms what we already knew – Australia needs more affordable housing. 

“Australia can’t afford to go back to the way our housing system was. We need to make sure that everybody in Australia will always have a home.”

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