Affordable Housing Hard to Find in NT
The 2018 Rental Affordability Snapshot, released by Anglicare Australia today, demonstrates that there continues to be a housing affordability crisis in the Northern Territory. The annual survey of rental properties, held on 24-25 March, identified no properties that were affordable and appropriate for Territorians who receive Newstart Allowance, Single Parenting Payment, Disability Support Pension or Youth Allowance.
“The picture for rental affordability in the Northern Territory continues to follow a very concerning trend. Too many people who are reliant on some form of welfare payment are paying a large percentage of their limited resources towards housing that is often not appropriate for their needs,” said Anglicare NT CEO Dave Pugh.
“Paying for a roof over your head shouldn’t put extra stress on a household. Territorians should not have to choose between rent and healthy food, prescription medications, transport or electricity.”
Anglicare NT is calling on both the Commonwealth and Territory Governments to make long term, strategic commitments to provide more affordable housing in the NT.
“The Northern Territory Government’s Head-leasing initiative and the National Rental Affordability Scheme should both be extended to meet the continuing need. The Commonwealth Rent Assistance Scheme must also be reformed so it no longer disadvantages certain groups, including young people on Youth Allowance or Newstart.”
“The Northern Territory has the equal highest rate of youth homelessness in the country with over 3,500 homeless young people aged 12-24 years on any given night (ABS Census 2016). Anglicare NT calls on the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments to continue the focus on vulnerable young people and redouble efforts in this area to ensure they don’t slip through the cracks into homelessness.”
“Failure to attract either government or private investment in affordable housing options in the Northern Territory will continue to place cost of living pressure on those who can least afford it and those who have the least housing options available to them.”
While rental prices in the Northern Territory have fallen in recent years, the 2018 Rental Affordability Snapshot data shows a slight rise when compared with Snapshot data from last year. Across the Northern Territory, the average cost of renting increased over the year to $477.72 per week compared to $472.67 per week last year.