News 13 May 2016

People with disability locked out of housing

Locked up house

People with disability are being locked out of rental markets in all of Australia’s major cities, according to a new report from Anglicare Australia.

The 2016 Rental Affordability snapshot found that just 0.5% of rental properties advertised on the weekend of April 2 and 3 were affordable for single people living on a Disability Support Pension anywhere in Australia.

It’s even worse for those trying to live in our cities, with just 0.1% of properties affordable for singles on a Disability Support Pension. To put that into perspective, that’s just 5 of the 57,307 properties advertised in every Australian city, assuming they were even accessible.

Not a single rental property was affordable in Greater Sydney, Perth or Brisbane, just three were affordable in Adelaide, and four in Melbourne.

In Hobart, 69 were affordable for someone living on a Disability Support Pension. No figures were provided for Darwin.

Anglicare Australia Executive Director, Kasy Chambers, said the upcoming Federal Election was an ideal opportunity to put housing affordability at the front and centre of the upcoming Federal Election.

“Now, more than ever, we need a national plan for affordable housing. We need to recalibrate our tax system, increase the supply of affordable housing to match people’s needs, and increase and renew social housing stock,” she said.

Last year Every Australian Counts supporters campaigned hard for a national housing plan to provide safe, affordable, accessible housing for people with disability.

So far the Commonwealth has committed to housing pilots in the Hunter trial sites, and a national working group is considering the lack of affordable housing across Australia, including for people with disability.

Earlier this month the NDIA released its position paper on how funding for specialist disability accommodation will be provided under the NDIS.

But there are still unanswered questions and a chronic lack of affordable and accessible housing for people with disability in all states and territories.

As this new report so shockingly highlights, the fight is not over yet.

Further reading

Media release: Too many still locked out of affordable housing

Full report: Anglicare Australia Rental Affordability Snapshot

Join the conversation

  • Lyn Jenkins

    Trying to find something for our son who has Down Syndrome has been trying. Partly because those places that are affordable aren’t particularly suitable. The reason Hobart had a high number of affordable places was because the government renovated a large group of units. One bedroom combined kitchenette/living room, combined toilet/bathroom. This particular group of units often had the police called out due to drug and alcohol induced fighting. It was closed down and renovated to try and give it a better name after 2 murders. THIS IS NOT WHERE I WANT MY SON TO LIVE. He should be able to live in a home big enough to “swing a cat” and one he can feel safe in. I have spoken to organisations that are building places.Their idea to make it affordable is to build 2 bedroom units and make them shared housing, (this would cost him 80% of his pension to live there). I can’t understand why places like the newer aged care facilities with independent, semi supported and fully supported accommodation can not be designed for those with disabilities. It would give them independence, part support and full support as well as safety and security. It would also ensure a reasonable diet for so many of them.