The extreme lack of affordable rental housing is leaving people on the lowest incomes almost completely locked out of the rental market, says the Victorian Council of Social Service.
A report from the Tenants Union of Victoria has found that there were virtually no affordable rental properties available in Melbourne for people living on low incomes.
“This report confirms that Melbourne’s housing affordability crisis is putting people on the lowest incomes at significant risk of homelessness,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS.
The TUV report, Pushed to the Edge,, took a snapshot of all advertised rental properties on June 23 2015 and sorted them according to affordability and appropriateness for different types of low income households.
Shockingly, the report found that the only affordable properties available to a renter on Austudy or Newstart in all of Melbourne were three CBD car parks and a storage shed in Seaford.
“These findings are the latest confirmation of the extent of our extreme housing crisis.”
“Rental cost rises have followed home price increases, making affordable rental properties increasingly scarce for low-income Victorians, and increasing the number of families and individuals living in rental stress.”
“VCOSS has heard stories of people living in their cars or families camping in parkland because they simply have nowhere else to go. We know that more families are turning to unsafe, insecure and inappropriate rooming house accommodation.”
“The lack of affordable housing is forcing more people to the outer growth areas of the city where overstretched community services are struggling to meet demand. Young people are staying at home for longer – assuming they are in a stable family home. Otherwise they face the prospect of ending up homeless, either couch surfing or – all too often – ending up in unsafe housing situations, or living on the street.”
“Victoria needs to develop a whole-of-government affordable housing strategy, pulling together a range of initiatives that can help increase the availability of affordable housing.”