Poor parents ‘locked out’ of rental market

Less than two per cent of Australia’s rental properties are affordable for families on the dole, a not-for-profit says.


It’s even worse for single parents on a parenting payment, with only one per cent of the market within reach, while singles on Newstart or Youth Allowance can afford almost none.

Anglicare has used its rental affordability snapshot of more than 75,000 homes nationwide to call for a housing affordability plan in the lead up to the federal election.

“The severe financial hardship associated with meeting the cost of rental properties leaves many families on low income needing to choose between basic necessities such as paying bills, buying food, seeing a doctor or paying the rent,” executive director Kasy Chambers said on Thursday.

“Now, more than ever, we need a national plan for housing affordability. We need to recalibrate our tax system, increase the supply of affordable housing to match people’s needs, and increase and renew social housing stock.”

Single parents who work don’t fare much better than the unemployed, with those on the minimum wage locked out of more than 95 per cent of the market.

Families where both parents work can access more than a quarter of Australia’s rental properties.

“There is an intricate connection between having a stable home, a secure job, and good physical and mental health,” Ms Chambers said.

Anglicare defined an affordable rental property as one that took up less than 30 per cent of the household’s income.


* Couples on Newstart – 1.9 per cent of rental properties.

* Single-parents on parenting payment – 1 pc

* Single-parents on the minimum wage – 4.7 pc

* Singles on Newstart and Youth Allowance – less than 0.1 pc

* Singles on disability support – 0.5 pc

* Single aged pensioners – 2.1 pc

* Aged pensioner couples – 4.3 pc