Anglicare Australia’s annual Rental Affordability Snapshot looks at the rental market for people across the country on low incomes and income support. In many parts of the state, the availability of suitable properties was close to zero for these groups in 2018.
In regional Victoria the situation was difficult; in metropolitan Melbourne it was dire. For those surviving on income support or pension payments, Maribyrnong was the most affordable local government area in Melbourne. Even there, just 4 per cent of the available rentals were affordable. For a couple on Newstart Allowance with two young children, there were just seven rental properties out of the 13,744 listed – less than 0.1 per cent – that would not put them into housing stress.
Further out in the regions the situation was better, with half of the properties listed affordable for those on income support in Latrobe (the most affordable LGA) and 40.6 per cent in Swan Hill. Overall the affordability of properties in Victoria remains low, with many families forced into over-crowded living situations so they can afford to continue paying the rent.
The report recommends a permanent rise in the rate of income support and pension payments, as well as government investment in social and public housing to better support those at the bottom of the market.