New advice service to help renters stressed by the cost of living

Victorian renters experiencing housing stress will soon have access to tailored, no-fee financial and legal help through Anglicare Victoria’s Rental Stress Communications Hub.

Anglicare Victoria acting CEO Sue Sealey said the service, funded under the Victorian Government’s Rental Stress Support Package, will provide one-on-one counselling to a growing number of renters in the state needing advice and advocacy help.

“The Rental Stress Communications Hub will assist renters to stay in their homes while work continues to boost affordable housing supply across the state. It will tap into Anglicare Victoria’s legal and financial counselling expertise, ensuring professional help with sticky areas that can be tough to navigate,” Ms Sealey said.

“We’re seeing more people struggling to afford their current rent. These are people who have been previously able to manage their money, but if you have to pay half or more of your pay packet to keep a roof over your head, there’s not much left over for food, bills, school expenses and all the rest.”

Anglicare Victoria’s 2024 Rental Affordability Snapshot research showed an average increase in rental prices of 10 per cent from last year.

“No matter if you’re in the city or the country, rents are going up faster than wages. This is a welcome initiative by the Victorian Government which will help Victorians feeling the squeeze,” Ms Sealey said.

“We know that people experiencing rental stress are often at risk of eviction, find themselves in unstable housing, or are significantly behind on their rent. There are so many legal and financial issues that can arise and that’s where our service steps in.”

In addition to providing information and referral services, the Anglicare Victoria Rental Stress Communications Hub will manage more complex matters for advice and strategic advocacy, ensuring those who need it most have access to suitable, timely help.

Renters who need support can get in touch via phone, video-conferencing and web-based channels, to be connected to no-fee help.

“We’ll be there to offer calm, no-judgement advice, refer people to additional financial counselling or services as needed, and advocate for renters all the way through to a resolution,” Ms Sealey said.

Anglicare Victoria’s 2024 Rental Affordability Snapshot, released on April 23, considers suitable and affordable properties to be ‘priced at less than 30 per cent of a household’s total income and have enough bedrooms to avoid overcrowding’.

It found:

  • Lower chances for low-income workers. For Victorians on minimum wage, properties that were available without placing them in housing stress dropped to 21.63 per cent, with 2778 available properties, from 25.65 per cent in 2023, when there was 2998 available properties.
  • Affordability has declined in metro Melbourne, where 1455 of the 10,069 available properties, or 14.5 per cent, were affordable for at least one household type living on minimum wage without placing them in housing stress. This figure was 20.9 per cent in 2023.
  • Country living offers more options. Affordability in regional Victoria fared better in 2024, as 1333 out of 2776 suitable properties were found to be affordable for households earning minimum wage, and 148 of those were affordable for people on income support payments – up from 943 and 42 respectively from 2023.
  • While there was an increase in the total number of properties available for rent, affordability continues to be an issue in metropolitan Melbourne, as 1.4 per cent (176 properties) of the 12,845 private rentals available across Victoria suitable for households living on income support payments – a minor improvement on the 100 properties (0.9 per cent) affordable in 2023.
  • But in regional areas there was a notable increase in affordability for households on income support, increasing from 42 properties in 2023 to 148 properties in 2024.
  • Private rentals dry up for the most vulnerable. There were no properties that met the affordability criteria for singles on Youth Allowance or JobSeeker, and just one property across all of Victoria which was affordable for someone reliant on the Disability Support Pension.
  • Median weekly rents have risen sharply in both metro and regional areas,3 per cent and 7 per cent respectively. Median rent in metropolitan Melbourne was $600 per week, regional Victoria was $470 per week.

For an interview or photo opportunity with an Anglicare Victoria spokesperson, or to discuss a possible case study, please contact Anglicare Media on 0419 035 117 or email

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