Rental Affordability Snapshot

“Pay rent or eat – this is the stark choice facing many people who live in the Northern Territory”, said Anglicare NT CEO, Dave Pugh.

“The national Anglicare Australia Rental Affordability Snapshot figures this year show there is a severe and immediate housing crisis for people on low incomes and the numbers in the Northern Territory paint an alarming picture”.

Anglicare Australia, of which Anglicare NT is a member, launched its annual Rental Affordability Snapshot today in Canberra.

On 1 April, Anglicare NT surveyed 1354 properties in the Northern Territory and found zero (0) properties that were both affordable and appropriate for people who receive Newstart Allowance, Disability Support Pension or Youth Allowance. “This is an ongoing trend which is simply unacceptable in a mature democracy and a wealthy nation,” said Dave Pugh.

Anglicare NT was only able to identify three (3) individual properties suitable for a couple who receive the age pension. We also found 53 individual properties suitable for a household living on minimum wage without placing them in housing stress, which was a marginal improvement from last year; however in context Darwin rental prices are still relatively expensive when compared with the majority of other capital cities.

“People from all walks of life are suffering chronic housing stress across Australia; forgoing daily necessities in order to pay the rent. We know in the Northern Territory this means they are often living in overcrowded houses, cars, parks or shelters without access to essential services such as electricity, water or fresh and healthy food,” said Dave Pugh.

This report, now in its seventh year, continues to highlight a trend within the Northern Territory of lack of availability of housing stock that is both appropriate and affordable for those in our community who have the most limited resources.

In the NT nearly 4000 young people aged between 12 – 24 years are living in overcrowded accommodation or couch surfing. Young people need somewhere safe and secure to live, however this report demonstrates that right now those places just don’t exist.

“Through our work supporting families across the Northern Territory, we continue to hear stories about women trying to escape domestic violence or young people transitioning to independence. This housing crisis will continue to disadvantage and impact on the ability of Territorians to meaningfully participate in their community; to find work, complete education and contribute to their neighbourhoods,” said Dave Pugh.

“Anglicare NT encourages both the Northern Territory and Australian Governments to make a meaningful and long term commitment towards an agreement. Particular emphasis should be placed on housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and young people. Anglicare NT will continue to advocate for a plan for affordable housing supported by all levels of government, which means investment in more social housing and real collaboration between the community sector and government,” said Dave Pugh.

The Rental Affordability Snapshot can be downloaded from the Anglicare Australia website. The Anglicare NT submission can be located on our website.