Shelter Tas, Tasmania’s peak body for affordable housing and homelessness services welcomes the release of Anglicare’s annual Rental Affordability Snapshot, but is troubled by the picture that it paints.
“The Snapshot, released today, backs up what we hear from services - that over 50% of those people accessing homelessness services cite housing affordability as their reason for seeking support.
“We know that over 14,000 Tasmanians are in housing stress. The annual Rental Affordability Snapshot highlights the unaffordability of rental properties across Tasmania and provides data to help track trends over time”, Shelter Tas Executive Officer Pattie Chugg said.
“This year the RAS confirms what other reports tell us - that the number of affordable properties in Tasmania is declining year on year, and that very few affordable properties are located in regions of economic growth”, Ms Chugg said.
“It is very concerning that the lowest income Tasmanians, young people and single parents on Newstart could only rent properties by placing themselves into rental stress, that is spending more than 30% of their income on rent”, Ms Chugg said.
The number of rental properties advertised in Tasmania on the date of the RAS has declined by 41% since 2013. There has been a 15% Statewide reduction in the number of rental properties advertised since last year’s Snapshot.
“The State Government is increasingly reliant on the Private Rental Market to house people on the lowest incomes, and it is critical to ensure that the market is responsive to their needs.
“This report shows that the private rental market remains unaffordable for many Tasmanians on low to moderate incomes.
“Therefore there is still a high need to focus on creating greater supply of affordable housing; be that either public, community or private rentals. Any new properties will also need to be built in the right locations, close to employment, education and with the opportunity to participate in the local community”, Ms Chugg said.
“We know that the Tasmanian Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy is intended to improve supply of affordable housing for vulnerable Tasmanians, and we look forward to seeing those outcomes reflected in future editions of the RAS,” Ms Chugg said.
Kym Goodes (TasCOSS) in Comments: Access to safe, affordable and secure housing is a fundamental human right. The 2016 Rental Affordability snapshot shows us, yet again, that this right is beyond the reach – and in most cases does not even exist – for Tasmanians on a low income …