Australian Greens Housing spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi and Family, Ageing & Community Services spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert have said that today’s 2020 Rental Affordability Snapshot, released by Anglicare Australia, has highlighted the dire state of housing affordability in Australia, as well as the need for a permanent increase to the JobSeeker Payment (which has been temporarily increased for six months).
Senator Mehreen Faruqi said:
“The near-complete lack of rental homes affordable for people even on the increased JobSeeker payment underlies the need for sweeping changes to boost social and affordable housing in Australia.
“There needs to be an urgent increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance combined with an expansion of social housing.
“Renters have really suffered during this pandemic. While facing unemployment, wage losses and enormous instability, many have had to fight to keep a roof over their heads in a housing market that structurally favours property owners and landlords.
“The system is completely rigged, especially against people on low incomes. It’s time for a complete overhaul of neoliberal housing policies that have led us here and to recognise housing as a human right.
“We need a massive increase in social housing by building 500,000 new publicly-owned homes and a reversal of unfair tax incentives that have contributed to the marketisation of housing over decades,” she said.
Senator Rachel Siewert said:
“This report highlights how important a permanent increase to the JobSeeker payment is in ensuring that no one is living in poverty.
“Even with the temporary JobSeeker increase there are still very few affordable properties to rent for people on income support.
“This needs to be a wake up call to the Government, everyone in our community should have safe, affordable housing and an income to ensure this,” she said.