Australian rental markets
are tough even on people with regular incomes. For people who are earning minimum wage or are on government benefits, the market has become a place where they can afford next to no homes appropriate for their personal or family situation.According to the Rental Affordability Snapshot published by Anglicare Australia
, a couple with two small children and both working minimum wage jobs can afford 24 percent of rental properties nationwide if they are aiming to spend at most 30 percent of family income on rent. If one parent stays at home and claims parenting payments, that decreases to 8 percent. Single parents in the same situation are even worse off, only being able to afford around 4 percent of properties in the private market if they are working for minimum wage and a disappointing 0.5 percent if they are claiming benefits.
Singles with no kids working for minimum wage are faring even worse since they are not claiming family tax credits. Singles who are out of work finally end up with no properties that they can afford in all of Australia according to the study.
As the authors of the study note, many people are overpaying on rent as a result of the situation and end up lacking money for food, medication or clothing. High rental costs also make these people less likely to be able to save up a fund for emergency expenses, putting them at a higher risk of personal bankruptcy and homelessness.