Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot 2019 shows strain in rental affordability in Yass

Rental affordability is an ongoing challenge for low-income earners in Yass, according to new Anglicare research.

There has been a lack of affordable private rental properties in the town for the past four years, the not-for-profit's annual Rental Affordability Snapshot shows.

An aerial view of Yass town. Photo: Yass Valley Council.

An aerial view of Yass town. Photo: Yass Valley Council.

Single parents and young people on a low-income or income support are the most impacted.

In 2019, the snapshot found no affordable and suitable housing for:

  • Singles with two children or one child aged under five relying on Parenting Payment Single.
  • Singles with two children on minimum wage and receiving Family Tax Benefit A and B.
  • Singles living in a share house and relying on Youth Allowance.
  • Couples with two children on minimum wage, receiving Parenting Payment (partnered) and Family Tax Benefit A and B.

In 2019, the snapshot found affordable and suitable housing for:

  • Couples with no children on Age Pension (3 houses).
  • Singles with no children on Age Pension (1).
  • Singles aged over 21 on Disability Support Pension (1).
  • Couples with two children on minimum age and receiving Family Tax Benefit A (1).
  • Singles on minimum wage (1).

However, the data finds a decline in affordable and suitable housing for people on the second list.

For example, in 2016 there were 18 affordable and suitable houses available to couples with two children on minimum age and receiving Family Tax Benefit A. This year there was just one.

There are around 715,000 people on Newstart in Australia, more than 83,000 receiving Youth Allowance and 750,000 receiving Disability Support Pension, while the 660,000 people on Aged Pension do not own their own home, according to Anglicare.

There are around 715,000 people on Newstart in Australia, more than 83,000 receiving Youth Allowance and 750,000 receiving Disability Support Pension, while the 660,000 people on Aged Pension do not own their own home, according to Anglicare.

The strain of finding affordable and suitable housing is leaving some people having to choose between whether to buy groceries or pay rent, Anglicare regional manager for housing and social services, Toni Reay, said.

"Our housing service is seeing increasing numbers of people seeking assistance," Ms Reay said.

"Often this strain is caused by family breakdown, domestic violence, unemployment, health issues and disability."

Anglicare said the minimum wage isn't enough and "has not kept pace with the rising cost of living."

"More public housing is needed in our community," Ms Reay said.

More than 142,500 Australians are on the waiting list for social housing and half of those given a home in 2016-17 were already homeless, according to Anglicare.

However, Loren Blundell, property manager at Yass Valley Property, said despite rental prices increasing in Yass, there were still a number of properties available at reasonable prices for tenants in the area, particularly in the surrounding villages.

"I've taken plenty of applications from tenants on a low-income and income support. We don't discriminate," she said.

As of Monday, Yass Valley Property had a three-bedroom house advertised for $270 per week in Binalong, which "has community buses and shops to get essentials from, such as milk and bread," Mrs Blundell said.

The Rental Affordability Snapshot 2019 is based on a search of affordable and suitable properties available online on March 23.

Mrs Blundell said the number of properties fluctuated each week and that the rental market was slower before and after Christmas.

"Just three weeks ago we only had one property available. Then, a week later we had eight," she said.

"Things can turn around very quickly in Yass."