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Apr 17, 2012
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Nearly 5,000 people in the ACT need real Rent Assistance

Australians for Affordable Housing (AAH) today revealed that almost 5,000 people in the ACT who receive Commonwealth Rent Assistance, are in housing stress. That’s 54 per cent, of the 9,000 people in the ACT who receive this payment, higher than any other state or territory in the country.

AAH Campaign Manager Sarah Toohey said that this shows just how desperately an increase in Commonwealth Rent Assistance is needed by people in the ACT.

“Thousands of people in the ACT are struggling with high housing costs. Rents in Canberra have risen at more than twice the rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) in the last five years, which has been hard for low income families struggling to make the rent.

“An increase in Rent Assistance of just $25 per week would lift more than 700 ACT residents out of housing stress completely.

“More than 110 people – or 12 per cent of those receiving the Aged Pension who are currently in housing stress would be able to make ends meet if CRA was increased by this small amount.

“Housing costs are the single biggest household expense. Increasing Rent Assistance is the logical way for the Government to make an immediate difference and take some pressure off households.

“We’ll need further reforms to Rent Assistance to help all of those people, but an immediate increase in CRA is a good place to start,” Ms Toohey said.

AAH has called on the Federal Government to increase CRA by 30 per cent in the Federal Budget, an increase of between $16 to $25 per week, which would help almost 100,000 people nationally.

Australians for Affordable Housing is a coalition of national housing, welfare and community sector organisations to highlight the problem of housing affordability in Australia. For more information visit www.housingstressed.org.au 

Spokesperson: Sarah Toohey, 0402 677 566/ Media enquiries: Stephanie De Campo, 0432 828 004

Follow AAH on Facebook and Twitter: @housingstressed

 

ACT CURRENT with $25pw increase
  Total recipients Number in housing stress %in stress Number no longer in housing stress % reduction in housing stress
Aged Pension   969   393 41 116 12
DSP  1 342   415 31 100 7
Carer Payment   85   38 45 6 7
Newstart  1 134   760 67 115 10
Austudy   236   181 77 17 7
Youth Allowance -Student  2 479  2 041 82 175 7
Youth Allowance – other   144   107 74 3 2
Parenting payment (single)   859   379 44 56 7
Parenting payment (partnered)   139   103 74 10 7
Family Tax Benefit only  1 762   472 27 124 7
Other   74   53 72 7 9
All  9 223  4 942 54 729 8

 

AUSTRALIA Current with $25pw increase
   

Total recipients

Number in housing stress  

% in stress

Number no longer in housing stress % reduction in housing stress
Aged Pension 201,215 58,802 29 19,854 10
DSP 23,5851 74,054 31 25,373 11
Carer Payment 29,489 8,672 29 2,267 8
Newstart 211,765 135,482 64 21,139 10
Austudy 17,848 12,782 72 1,420 8
Youth Allowance -Student 65,431 50,065 77 3,656 6
Youth Allowance – other 15,050 10,807 72 488 3
Parenting payment (single) 166,160 62,870 38 16,303 10
Parenting payment (partnered) 27,896 12,809 46 1,789 6
Family Tax Benefit only 147,006 26,292 18 5,996 4
Other 12,821 8,235 64 1,472 11
All 1,130,532 460839 41 99,726 9

Source: calculations based on Senate Community Affairs Committee, Answers to estimates questions on notice Families, Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio 2011-12 Budget Estimates Hearings Question No: 246 and Productivity Commission, Report on Government Services 2012, Table 16A.61

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