The 2019 Victorian Rental Affordability Snapshot (RAS) looked at 15,750 rental property listings across the state and found only 2 per cent were affordable for households which relied on income support to survive. This means poor households were left to compete for the one in every 50 available rentals that would not put them into housing stress.
The situation in 2019 had worsened compared to the year before, when 3.1 per cent of properties were affordable for those on income support. Slightly more than a quarter (28 per cent) of the properties examined were affordable for someone on the minimum wage, while single people on income support – with or without children – continued to be the most disadvantaged group.
The situation was worst in Melbourne, where only 0.6 per cent of properties were affordable for households that rely on income support payments. There is a clear case for more Commonwealth investment in targeted social and public housing, as well as a permanent increase in the rate of unemployment assistance.