Jul 08, 2022

House affordability roadmap could fix “volatile” rental market for older Australians

House affordability roadmap could fix

A 20-year Roadmap for rental housing affordability has been pegged as a potential way to fix the ongoing rental crisis for older Australians, but it needs all levels of government to get on board.

Anglicare Australia, social advocacy organisation, released its Homes for All: A Roadmap to Affordable Housing campaign yesterday. It sets out long-term solutions and a funding plan that would help fix the ongoing “volatile” rental market.

This Roadmap used data from Anglicare Australia’s recent Rental Snapshot to inform the plan, which found that less than 1% of all rental listings in Australia (of 45,000 available on 19 March 2022) were affordable for people on the Age Pension.

Kasy Chambers, Anglicare Australia executive director, said the number of affordable rentals for people on the Age Pension has been “stubbornly low” for the last decade.

“Couples [on the Age Pension] are barely better off. In 2012, they could afford 2.6% of rentals. That number was already dismal, but now it’s down to 1.4%.

“It’s no wonder the Royal Commission [into Aged Care Quality and Safety] called for action on housing stress and homelessness. Older people are being locked out of housing right when they need security the most.”

Homes For All provides a fully funded roadmap to fix the crisis, which includes expanding available social and affordable housing by 25,000 homes each year.

Many older people depend on social and affordable housing, said Ms Chambers, and older people are currently hurting due to the shortfall.

Ms Chambers doesn’t want to see older people “left at the mercy of the market”.

Key elements of the Homes For All Roadmap include:

  • A sustainable plan to fund and maintain social housing
  • A ten-year regime of tax and policy reform
  • A 20-year program to expand social and affordable housing
  • All new housing developments need to include affordable housing
  • Trialling secure leasing models for mainstream tenancies, for example, long-term leases
  • Commonwealth Rent Assistance reforms and increases
  • Country-wide consistent protections and laws for renters

Anglicare Australia believes that these solutions can ensure that rental stress, insecurity, and homelessness “does not have to be the way of the future”.

Ms Chambers said, “Australia’s housing crisis has reached fever pitch.”

“This roadmap offers a long-term plan for all levels government to make housing more affordable. Our hope is that they will work together, and with us, to end this crisis for good.”

Prior to the federal election, the Labor government promised a range of housing affordability policies, including establishing a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council.

The government is yet to announce any actions on these promises.

To view the full Roadmap, head to the Anglicare Australia website.

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  1. First up……….an increase in rent assistance which currently has no relationship to current rents.
    IMO, the property market is heading for a dramatic fall which will also indirectly help the rental situation.

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