28/04/2022 - 15:00

Rental affordability worsens

28/04/2022 - 15:00

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People receiving JobSeeker can no longer afford to rent any properties in the Perth Metro region, according to a new report from Anglicare WA.

Rental affordability worsens
Rental affordability has worsened in the past few years. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

People receiving JobSeeker can no longer afford to rent any properties in the Perth Metro region, according to a new report from Anglicare WA.

The organisation’s Rental Affordability Snapshot 2022, published today, shows the number of affordable and appropriate homes for rent for people on low incomes available on a weekend in March.

Housing was deemed 'affordable' if it required less than 30 per cent of a household’s income and ‘appropriate’ if it had an adequate number of bedrooms.

In the Perth Metro region, Anglicare WA found someone who was a single parent on minimum wage could afford to rent 0.4 per cent of properties available and those on the age pension could rent 0.8 per cent.

People on a disability support pension could afford one property in the Perth Metro region.

There were slightly more affordable properties available in the South West and Great Southern regions and less in the North West, compared to Perth.

The report showed rental affordability has worsened in the past few years.

In Perth, affordability for couples on minimum wage and parenting payment dropped from 7 per cent in 2021 to 3.2 per cent in 2022.

However, in 2020, the $550 per fortnight Coronavirus Supplement meant these households could afford 34 per cent of listed properties.

In the past year, median rent prices increased 12 per cent in the Perth Metro region, 13.5 per cent in the South West and Great Southern and 9 per cent in the North West.

Low-income earners are also battling the rising cost of living.

Data released yesterday from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed inflation in Perth had increased to 7.6 per cent.

Prices in Perth rose 3.3 per cent in the March quarter, with fuel up 11.1 per cent, non-durable household products (7.4 per cent) and rents (2.3 per cent).

Anglicare WA’s Emergency Relief and Food Access Service recorded a 50 per cent increase in recipients who were employment receiving food handouts and financial assistance.  

Anglicare WA chief executive Mark Glasson said rising housing costs, together with the increasing cost of living, made it near impossible for those on minimum wage to make ends meet.

“In the last 12 months, we’ve seen a growing cohort of so-called ‘working poor’ employed in insecure and casualised jobs, and even those working full-time on minimum wage, are struggling to pay the rent and are facing tough choices, such as deciding between food or fuel,” Mr Glasson said.

“Less than 50 properties in WA are affordable for an individual on minimum wage according to this year’s Snapshot.

“That combined with the increased costs of food, utilities and transport, and stagnant wages, is placing intolerable pressure on West Australian households.”

Mr Glasson called on the state government to work with the federal government to ease housing pressures.

Ahead of the state budget in May, Mr Glasson said the state government must consider targeted rent relief for low-income households, like the Residential Rent Relief Grants scheme.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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