A snapshot analysis has found that low-income earners are being squeezed out of the Brisbane rental market.
As assessed by community welfare advocate Anglicare on April 14 for affordability; Of the 8266 available properties listed on realestate.com.au and Gumtree, Anglicare found just three were suitable for a family of two Newstart recipients with two children.
Not a single Brisbane property was suitable for a single pensioner, while just 27 were affordable for a couple on the pension.
Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said the high prices could push low-income earners, including young families and the aged, into unsuitable accommodation such as share houses.
“The private rental market is responding to the pressures of demand, and for investment return, with boarding house-style accommodation where renters lease a room or even a bed in a communal bedroom,” she said
“Realtors act as off-site property managers, renting individual rooms in a single property to independent tenants via separate leases.”
The study shed no light on what options low-income earners were using when seeking accommodation.
Australian Pensioners’ and Superannuants’ League Queensland state secretary Raymond Ferguson said the problem would only get worse for the elderly, as Mr. Ferguson said that there were about 38,000 applicants for public housing in Queensland about a third of those were pensioners.
As baby boomers retired, he said that proportion would rise.
The ownership of homes among pensioners was around 85% ten to fifteen years ago, and now slipped to 75%, which is a reflection on the fact that many people retiring from the workforce are retiring in a rental position.
“Once they retire, of course, it’s too late to even consider purchasing a home.”
Mr. Ferguson said Australia had not done enough preparation for the impending tidal wave of retirees, who stretch resources within the next decade.
He also said that all levels of government needed to make more affordable housing available.
Ms. Chambers said it was imperative housing policy was prioritised by all levels of government.
Queensland Housing Minister Tim Mander said there was no doubt the rental market was challenging for people on social security or living on the minimum wage. The National Rental Affordability scheme possibly plays a very important part in this.