Every year Anglicare Australia tests if it is possible for people on low incomes to rent a home in the private market. We do this by taking a snapshot of the thousands of properties listed for rent on realestate. com.au on one weekend in late March or early April. We then assess whether each property is affordable and suitable for fourteen household types on low incomes. Those households are:
- Single people receiving the Disability Support Pension, Youth Allowance, the Jobseeker Payment (formerly Newstart) and the Aged Pension, or earning minimum wage
- Single parents receiving the Parenting Payment or earning the minimum wage
- Elderly couples without children on the Aged Pension, and
- Couples with children on the Jobseeker Payment, Parenting Payment, earning the minimum wage, or a combination of these income sources.
This year’s Snapshot has given us a unique opportunity. It provides a point in time analysis of the private rental market for people on low incomes before a major economic downturn and government response. It also allows us to use the temporary increase to some government incomes to test private rental affordability if these increases were made permanent. Accordingly, this Snapshot includes that analysis, and the results inform our recommendations in these extraordinary times.