April 30, 2014
There are almost no affordable rental properties in Perth for people who receive welfare payments, according to a report released by Anglicare today.
The Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot report surveyed 6975 Perth rental properties in April and found less than one per cent of people on benefits and pensions could afford current rental prices.
According to Anglicare, the average rental cost in Perth was down 12 per cent from 2013 at $535 per week, but was still unaffordable to anyone on a low income.
Anglicare WA chief executive officer Ian Carter said renting was not an option for low income earners and Western Australia did not have sufficient public housing. There were 23, 000 people on waitlists to access public housing in Western Australia.
“Low income families are not a special interest group or a political lobby,” he said.
“They are the most vulnerable people in our community. We need united, bi-partisan support for affordable housing. Investment must be continuous and ongoing.
“Increasing the Newstart and youth allowance benefits and the Commonwealth Rental Assistance will assist low income earners to afford rising private rental prices.
“Increasing investment in public housing will help to decrease the waiting lists and get more families housed so they can move on with their lives.
Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia chief executive officer Craig Comrie said young people were already disadvantaged in the rental market but those who received a benefit were the worst affected.
“It’s almost impossible for a young person on welfare to be able to find suitable and sustainable housing,” he said.
“Young people on welfare that can’t afford to get in to the private rental market are languishing on the public housing lists for four to five years, or they’re finding themselves homeless.”
Mr Comrie said WA had the second highest youth homeless population per capita in Australia.