by Brigid Smith
A rental crisis has struck Sydney’s low-income earners, according to Anglicare Australia.
The April Report from Anglicare Australia’s annual Rental Affordability Snapshot revealed that just two per cent of rental vacancies was affordable for households on low income.
Ned Cutcher, of the NSW Tenants Union, says, “Tenants in most parts of the country, and definitely Sydney, are being squeezed out. Properties are increasingly unaffordable.”
The decline in rental vacancies has caused an increase in rents.
Only 25 out of 10,385 rental properties available on the Snapshot weekend were identified as affordable and appropriate, according to Anglicare Australia.
The March data released by the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) shows the overall rental vacancy rate is now at its lowest since December last year, down 0.2 per cent to 1.6 per cent.
“Rental vacancies are ludicrously low and priced out of the market for low income earners, unless they are prepared to share or cram in,’ Mr Cutcher says.
The median rent of a one-bedroom flat in Sydney is now $450, according to the Real Estate Institute.
“I can’t say I have noticed any spikes in complaints from tenants due to rent increases but low vacancy rates does make it easier for landlords to raise their rents,’ Ned Cutcher says.
Kate Merriman, who rents in Bondi Junction, says, “I’m totally powerless, landlords have become very greedy. I’ve lived here for seven years with my two children, and now we have to move out because I can’t afford to live here anymore.”
Anglicare Australia says housing affordability is affecting all Australians and needs to be a national priority with the Federal Government committed to make changes to housing inequality.
The NSW Tenants Union thinks the Government should take action towards investing in new affordable properties and make changes to negative gearing on property investments, according to Ned Cutcher.
Laura MacLulich, of Coogee, says, “The rental market is dreadful. The rents are so high now that it’s forcing people to move from their communities, leaving friends, family and support behind, just so they can find cheaper accommodation further out west. The Government should put a cap on the rent’.