The Rental Affordability Snapshot highlights the lived experience of looking for housing on a low income. It focuses on people who earn the least – those on government income payments or earning the minimum wage.
Each year, Anglicare Australia agencies use data provided by REA Group to analyse rental listings on realestate.com.au. Each property is assessed for its affordability and suitability for low income households.
Every year, Anglicare Australia tests if it is possible for people on low incomes to rent a home in the private market. They 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. They 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 Anglicare Australia’s Rental Affordability Snapshot fell on the weekend of 21 March 2020, just days before the federal, state and territory governments enacted a range of extraordinary measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. These measures included a significant, temporary increase in some government income payments, captured in several household types we measure. There has also been a shutdown of much of the economy, resulting in hundreds of thousands of job losses and high volatility in the private rental market.
This year’s Snapshot 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 researchers 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.