Senin, 06 Februari 2012

Australians for Affordable Housing Budget Statement

Australians for Affordable Housing have today launched their Budget Statement for this year, calling on the Federal Government to address housing stress where it is hurting most – in rental housing.

And partly because it is Share Housing Month – and partly because it is where the housing stress numbers are worst – let's look more closely at the situation of students and job-seekers. 

According to AAH, more than 70 per cent of Austudy and Youth Allowance recipients, and more than 60 per cent of Newstart recipients, are in housing stress – that is, they pay more than 30 per cent of their income in rent, even after Rent Assistance is added to their (very low) incomes. And this means serious proportions of people skipping meals and going without health and dental care in order to pay the rent.

(Click on image for a better view)
In response, AAH proposes (as have we, and as did the Henry Review) an increase in the maximum rate of Rent Assistance. AAH proposes $25 per week, which, as you can see, would achieve a modest reduction in the number of persons in housing stress. 
More importantly (and this isn't shown in the numbers), an increase in the maximum rate would most help those in the most acute housing stress – even if it doesn't get them out of housing stress altogether. This might mean the difference, so to speak, between eating beans and not eating at all.

That's the demand side; on the supply side, AAH calls for an Affordable Housing Growth Fund, to continue what the stimulus only started: the rebuilding of the social housing system after years of neglect and decline.

And as the national media turns its attention to what the RBA will do to interest rates, it's the best affordable housing plan you'll read all day....