Anglicare Australia's 2019 Rental Affordability Snapshot reveals a dire situation for renters on low incomes and government benefits.
Anglicare Australia's 2019 Rental Affordability Snapshot reveals a dire situation for renters on low incomes and government benefits. chameleonseye

RENTAL CRISIS: Why we can't afford to live here anymore

NOT ONLY are North Coast residents being locked out of the home-ownership market, decent rentals are getting harder to come by for low-income tenants, who cant even get a look-in at Byron Bay where there are no affordable rentals.

According to Anglicare Australia's 2019 Rental Affordability Snapshot, "Unless you are in receipt of at least the minimum wage, your chance of finding a home that will not place you under financial stress is fast approaching zero" on the North Coast.

Each year the organisation's annual Rental Snapshot reviews the number of available rental properties available on a single weekend and this year 775 private rentals were advertised for rent on realestate.com.au in nine locations from Port Macquarie to Tweed Heads.

There were no affordable properties found suitable for singles on benefits.

Anglicare found many properties were targeted at workers like those who may be working on the highway upgrade, which they found was a notable difference from previous years, but "rents continue to rise while incomes remain fixed".

But in comparison to the 194 homes available for long term rental across Ballina, Byron and Tweed Heads, "according to Inside AirBnB, there are 4660 homes advertised for rent through AirBnB in this area," the report revealed.

"Of that number, 82 per cent are whole homes and occupancy rates for those houses stands at 19 per cent on average, or 69 days a year."

CEO of Anglicare North Coast, Estelle Graham said overall, the picture was consistent with the broad pattern of the last seven years of this snapshot.

"Ballina, Byron Bay and Tweed Heads were the poorest performers with no affordable properties available for rent for people on any type of Centrelink income," Ms Graham said.

"The unavailability of affordable rental properties means that many people do not have access to adequate, affordable housing, a basic human right and a necessary basis for building a safe and stable life.

"We are particularly concerned about single people, including both younger single people and single aged pensioners as well as single parent families."

Of 58 houses surveyed in Byron Bay, there were no affordable options and of 71 in Ballina there was just one affordable option.

Casino fared better with 14 affordable options of 16 properties surveyed, but the majority of household types were excluded from these options.

Of 70 options in Lismore 43 were found to be affordable to some of the groups.



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