Rental Affordability Index shows Rent Assistance must be reformed

“CPSA welcomes the introduction of the Rental Affordability Index by National Shelter, Community Sector Banking and SGS Economics and Planning,” said Amelia Christie, Manager, Research & Advocacy.

“The figures make it abundantly clear that something concrete must be done to address housing affordability and that Commonwealth Rent Assistance must be reformed.

“The index has found that in Greater Sydney an average household is required to spend 28% of its income to cover rent but this skyrockets to as high as 65% of income for low income households.

“The Government’s own figures paint an even grimmer picture. A single pensioner, relying on a full rate pension and the maximum rate of Rent Assistance receives $498.20 per week in income support. The median rent in Greater Sydney for a one bedroom apartment is $460[1] leaving a pensioner with just $38.20 per week to spend on electricity, food, transport and health costs.

“Older people relying on the Age Pension alone are unlikely to qualify for priority social housing until they reach 80 years of age.

“CPSA calls on the NSW Government to meaningfully tackle rental affordability and ensure that social housing makes up a sizable portion of the housing provided as part of the Social and Affordable Housing fund promised before the State Election.

“We call on the Federal Government to increase the rate of Rent Assistance to bring it in line with rental prices. The maximum rate for people without dependents is paid at a paltry $64.70 per week - a pittance in comparison to what people renting privately are forced to pay in order to keep a roof over their heads.”

Media contact: Amelia Christie, Manager, Research & Advocacy
Mobile: 0410 612 182