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People on low incomes, including working Tasmanians on minimum wage, are largely locked out of the state’s private rental market.

The Rental Affordability Snapshot released by Anglicare today analysed every private rental property advertised in Tasmania over the weekend of March 24-25.  Of the total 1245 properties, most were beyond the means of people on low incomes.

For young people receiving Youth Allowance, there were no affordable rental options anywhere in Tasmania.

There were no affordable rentals available in the South for single parents on a Parenting Payment.

Rental options for adults looking for work were also few and far between. There were no affordable properties for a single person on Newstart, and just 6% of the properties advertised statewide were affordable for a couple on Newstart with two children.

For a single parent with a child aged eight or over, only 1% of the rentals were affordable but almost all of these were in the North West.

Even for people on minimum wage, only 17% of the rentals were affordable for a single person, and even fewer (13%) affordable for a single person with children. 18% of the advertised properties were affordable for a couple earning minimum wage, with one child.

“People on minimum wages, as well as those on income support payments, simply can’t compete in the current rental market,” said Meg Webb, manager of the Social Action and Research Centre. “Many vulnerable households cannot find an affordable rental, so are being forced into over-crowded or unsuitable accommodation. Alternatively, they are spending most of their income on rent, leaving them unable to afford other necessities”.

If rent exceeds 30% of a household budget it will cause financial stress or difficult choices.

Ms Webb said the Snapshot data pointed to the need for:

-      Urgent increases in investment into additional affordable private and social housing stocks, tenancy opportunities, and homelessness services.

-      A review of and significant increase in government support payments for low income Australians.

-      Changes to Tasmania’s planning scheme to ensure targets are in place for the inclusion of affordable properties in all new housing developments.

-      The abolition of stamp duty and its replacement with a broad-based land tax.

-      Changes to negative gearing and capital gains discounts.

-      Improvements to tenancy laws to ensure tenants have greater security of tenure.

“Simply put, our state needs more houses that are affordable and appropriate – and this will require greater investment and bold policy approaches from both Federal and State governments,” said Ms Webb.

Download Tasmanian Rental Affordability Snapshot 2018, here: https://www.socialactionresearchcentre.org.au/rental-affordability-snapshot-tasmania-2018/

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