Singles on low incomes locked out of NSW

Many single people on pensions or benefits cannot find affordable rental accommodation in New South Wales, according to housing advocacy group Shelter NSW.

Its chief executive, Karen Walsh, said governments needed to address the shortfall of around 100,000 social and affordable housing dwellings in the state.

“The RAI (Rental Affordability Index) clearly shows that our current housing system is not ‘fit for purpose’,” Ms Walsh said.

“What is shocking is that if you are a single person on a pension or a benefit, there is nowhere in New South Wales you can rent a one-bedroom unit that is affordable,” Ms Walsh said.

“If you are a couple receiving a pension, looking for a two-bedroom unit, you need to move west of Bathurst or to the Hunter to avoid rental stress.”

Rental stress is defined as a household paying more than 30 percent of its income to a landlord.

Shelter NSW said 650 suburbs of the Greater Sydney region and the entire east coast of NSW from Tweed Heads in the north to Merimbula in the south, are unaffordable for a pensioner couple.

Ms Walsh said single parents were among those hardest hit as they needed to travel longer distances to access affordable rents, which impacted on the time they could spend at home with their children.  For further information, go to the website.

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