Sydney's recent property boom has had a disastrous impact on rental opportunities for the city's poorest denizens.
A new study indicates that Sydney’s poorer residents have been hard hit by the property boom which has come as such a windfall for owners and vendors of real estate in the city.
A study by Anglicare Sydney has concluded that under one per cent of rental properties in Sydney qualify as affordable and appropriate for households dependent upon welfare benefits.
The study analysed over 12,164 rental properties which were available on the weekend of April 5 – 6 in the Greater Sydney region, and found that only 33 – equivalent to 0.3 per cent, were affordable for welfare recipients.
Minimum wage earners did not fare much better, with only eight per cent of available rental properties falling into the affordable and appropriate category.
Families in which both adults earn the minimum wage had access to only 994 affordable and appropriate properties in the city, while only 56 were available to single people on the minimum wage, and as few as 28 properties to single parents on the minimum wage.
Anglicare’s research also found there were no properties on the private rental market which qualify as affordable for single people on Newstart, the youth allowance or the disability support pension.
Sue King, Anglicare Sydney’s director of advocacy and research, said the research indicated that surging property prices had placed more of Sydney’s poorer residents under severe rental stress, forcing them to either move further away from the city centre and endure lengthier commute times or allocate more of their limited incomes to rent.
“In order to keep a roof over their head many people will go into severe rental stress spending more than 30 per cent of a very limited income on rent,” she said. “This leaves very little for food and payment of utilities such as electricity.”
King said that situation for the elderly poor could soon worsen, given changes to the aged pension flagged by the Coalition government.
“If the method of indexing the age pension is changed, we are concerned more older people, who are just managing to maintain their homes at the moment, will be forced into rental stress or lose their homes altogether,” she said.