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|
|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|
|All||9 223||4 942||54||729||8|
|AUSTRALIA||Current||with $25pw increase|
|Number in housing stress||
% in stress
|Number no longer in housing stress||% reduction in housing stress|
|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|
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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