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Senate Backs Greens Call for Rent Assistance Review

Media Release
Mehreen Faruqi 15 Oct 2019

Greens Senator for NSW and Housing Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has welcomed the Senate supporting her call for the Commonwealth to review the adequacy of Commonwealth Rent Assistance payments. The Productivity Commission has found that two thirds of low-income renters in Australia are in rental stress – spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent.

Senator Faruqi said:

“It is fantastic to see the Senate supporting the Greens’ motion to review the level of rent assistance, particularly during Anti-Poverty Week.

“It is unacceptable that so many people already on low incomes are falling into financial stress just to put a roof over their head. Everyone has the right to a safe, secure and permanent home.

“When even the Productivity Commission concludes that rent assistance hasn’t kept up with rising rents, you know we have a problem.

“We know low-income renters in particular are being squeezed between soaring rents and a lack of proper social support. I urge the Government to act immediately and announce a review so we can get on with resolving this long-running issue," she concluded. 

The motion

I give notice that on the next day of sitting, I shall move—That the Senate:

1. Note that:

        a. Anti-Poverty Week runs from 13th to 19th of October.

        b. The Productivity Commission has found that two thirds of low-income renters in Australia are in rental stress – spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent.

        c. 170,000 Australian households are left with less than $35 a day after covering their rent

        d. The Productivity Commission has stated that Commonwealth Rent Assistance has not kept up with rising rents.

2. Calls on the Federal Government to review the adequacy of Commonwealth Rent Assistance. 

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