Low-income earners at serious risk of homelessness, new research reveals

South Australians on low incomes are facing the very real risk of homelessness, with new research showing only one percent of advertised rentals are affordable to them.

The situation is even more dire for single people, people with disabilities, or those on parenting payments with two children – no properties are affordable to them.

Anglicare Australia’s 2024 Rental Affordability Snapshot, released today, was taken on 16 March and reveals large groups of individuals and families competed for only 1,615 private rentals advertised in South Australia.

Of the 1,615 listed properties just 17 homes, or one per cent, were affordable for households on income support payments, while for a single person with one or two children on parenting payments there were no affordable properties.

The outlook was equally bleak for a single person on JobSeeker payment or Youth Allowance where no homes were appropriate and affordable. Remarkably, only four properties were affordable and appropriate for those on the government’s most generous benefit, the age pension.

Believe Housing Australia Executive General Manager, Stacey Northover, said as was the case across Australia, renters on low incomes were dealing with the grim reality that government payments had not kept up with the increase in housing costs.

“There is an acute shortage of affordable homes, increasing dependence on temporary accommodation and government programs in order to access housing,” Ms Northover said.

“Despite South Australia’s recent rental reforms, many young people, couples, and families with young children are struggling to access safe, stable, and affordable homes to live in.

“The scale of the problem extends beyond unemployed households or single, young renters unable to save for their bond; even working couples are finding themselves priced out of South Australia’s rental market.”

While single people were revealed as the most affected in the 2024 snapshot, South Australian households on minimum wage were finding the housing crisis increasingly difficult.

More than 85 per cent (1,372) of available properties were unaffordable to a working couple with two children, who were on minimum wage.

In the wake of the 2024 Rental Affordability Snapshot, Believe Housing Australia is calling for investment in more quality social and affordable housing; reforms to the tax system so investors aren’t incentivised to remove housing stock from the market, and; better protection for private renters.

“A properly funded and functioning housing market, where supply meets demand and workers can live in homes near their families and workplaces is essential to the future growth of the state,” Ms Northover said.

“The promise of housing delivery – accelerated by the Commonwealth’s Housing Australia’s Future Fund (HAFF) and the National Housing Accord, and the state’s recent land releases under the Better Housing Future strategy – will be realised more than five years from now.

“Now is the time to plan and fund new projects, yet there seems to be a lack of urgency when it comes to releasing appropriate government funding to invest in new, affordable homes.

“It is therefore critical that HAFF proposals, particularly those received from Tier 1 Housing Providers like Believe Housing Australia and local government planning departments, are fully funded.

“There is much to be done and now is the time for action.”

Access the South Australian Rental Affordability Snapshot report here.


Formerly known as AnglicareSA Housing, Believe Housing Australia continues to be a part of the AnglicareSA family and remains a subsidiary company of AnglicareSA.

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