Words By: Luann Nilsson
On the 11th of April, rental data was collected from Realestate.com.au to compile Anglicare Australia’s annual Rental Affordability Snapshot, assessing the appropriateness and suitability of rental prices for individuals or couples earning minimum wage and/or relying on government benefits.
Despite the increase of properties available, of the 65,000 plus properties that were surveyed nationally, 2.3% were considered affordable for low-income earners. The amount of suitable housing available for singles on government benefits was less than 1%. And if you are a single on Youth Allowance, there is 0% chance you will find a Metropolitan property suitable. If you are on Newstart Allowance, your luck is a little better, 0.1% better.
So how does Perth stack up? According to the data collected from Realestate.com.au, of the 7976 properties that were surveyed in the Greater Metropolitan Perth the average price of a rental in Perth is $430 per week. Down 10% from April 2014. But regardless of the increase, less than 0.1% of properties were deemed affordable for individuals on government benefits and less than 25% were considered affordable for low-income earners.
Anglicare states that on top of rental stress, some individuals also have the added mental and physical expense of domestic violence, disability care, and mental health issues. In 2014, The Australian Council of Social Service found that Newstart and Youth Allowance payments fell below the poverty line.
However, the report does not take into account any rentals not listed on Realestate.com.au, or rentals that do not go through an agency. It is also unclear as to whether this report includes university boarding’s in Perth. The report only collected data for one day, the 11th of April 2015. Despite this, the figures are indicative of what we already know, in 2015 the standard of minimum wage and government payments are simply not enough to cover the cost of living in Australia.