South Australia’s housing crisis has continued to “deepen and broaden” with a report finding job seekers were unable to afford any rental properties across the state in March, InDaily reports.
Across single South Australians on the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment, only 17 properties were affordable and appropriate.
The stark outlook for low-income renters was a further decline from the one per cent or 31 SA properties available for people on the JobSeeker payment in March 2020.
The rental market was only marginally better for families with two adults on the JobSeeker payment, with four per cent of properties considered affordable and appropriate.
The organisation defined an “affordable property” as one where rent did not exceed 30 per cent of a household budget, a benchmark that is commonly used as an indicator of housing stress. Suitable properties were defined as appropriate for the number of people at the dwelling.
It follows what AnglicareSA labelled a “brief reprieve” for people on low-income payments during the coronavirus pandemic, when the COVID-19 supplement boosted the number of properties affordable to South Australians on welfare.
AnglicareSA Executive General Manager of Housing Michelle Gegenhuber said 25 per cent of properties were affordable on the increased rate of JobSeeker payment.
“With the supplement now gone, and only a minor permanent increase to the JobSeeker payment, the crisis we’ve seen for years in Adelaide has returned and it is even more dire than before COVID,” she said.
“The unfortunate reality is that if you rely on income support, or you earn the minimum wage, and you want access to the private rental market, then there is very little hope.”
A state government spokesperson said the Marshall government was preparing to undertake “bold, much-needed and long-overdue reform” to prevent people cycling in and out of homelessness.