Rental affordability forcing more Yass families into financial hardship: Research

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

Rental affordability is a challenge for low income-earners in Yass, Anglicare's annual Rental Affordability Snapshot has revealed.

The not-for-profit's research reveals that there are only a small number of properties that are affordable for people relying on government payments.

The data calculate affordable housing as 30 per cent of household income.

Several families are facing hardships after the end of the coronavirus supplement and lifting of rental moratoriums to protect tenants.

Anglicare's annual Rental Affordability Snapshot shows lack of affordable housing options in Yass.

Anglicare's annual Rental Affordability Snapshot shows lack of affordable housing options in Yass.

Toni Reay, Anglicare's regional manager of Housing and Social Services, said the data was heartbreaking.

"We have a housing system that is simply not working, and families who are disadvantaged are suffering the most," said Ms Reay.

"People from metro areas are moving into regional areas like Yass as a result of COVID. People who may have been in stable rentals during COVID are finding increased rents unaffordable but lack of housing options means they have little choice but to go into arrears with payments.

"There has also been an influx of workers to Yass for the wind farm and the Barton Highway duplication meaning rents are increasing. Locals who can't afford the increases have limited options with some even staying at the pub because they simply have nowhere else to go.

"Some of those we are helping are living in substandard private rental accommodation but can't afford to leave. Some of our clients have faced eviction and are couch-surfing or living in temporary accommodation."

Ms Reay asked state and federal governments to acknowledge the housing crisis and provide funding to services to assist clients in housing stress.

She said that more funding should be committed to increasing social and community housing options and government income benefits should be raised so people can seek affordable housing.

Anglicare's service in Yass is not limited to emergency and transitional housing assistance and includes referrals to other services such as financial counselling and emergency food relief.

This story Rental affordability forcing more Yass families into financial hardship: Research first appeared on Goulburn Post.