ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

ACT least affordable jurisdiction for renters on low incomes

29 November 2022

A report released today has shown that the ACT’s rental affordability is the worst in the country for people on low incomes – and continues to worsen.

The Rental Affordability Index report issued jointly by National Shelter, SGS Economics & Planning, Beyond Bank and the Brotherhood of St Laurence highlighted that low-income households in Canberra face ‘particularly unaffordable rents which are pushed up by the overall high-income earning workforce.’

The report showed that the ACT is the most unaffordable location to rent for nearly all categories of people on low incomes including: single pensioners, pensioner couples, people on jobseeker, single-part-time worker parents on benefits, single full-time working parents, students, couples on the minimum wage, and hospitality workers. The ACT was second least affordable for single income couples with children and dual income couples with children.

ACTCOSS CEO, Dr Emma Campbell said: “The ACT’s rental affordability crisis continues to worsen for people on low incomes.

“The Rental Affordability Index demonstrates that the ACT Government’s housing and homeless policies are failing to meet the housing needs of Canberrans on low incomes – including many in full-time work.

“The ACT Government’s Housing Strategy report card, released last week, shows that there is a long way to go to deliver on its social and affordable housing commitments.

“Instead of ‘ongoing’ or in ‘progress’ on the ACT Government’s housing commitments, we need to see homes ‘delivered and completed’ for the ACT’s pensioners, families and frontline workers who are struggling to keep a roof over their head.

“How many more reports do we need before the ACT Government will take this crisis seriously?

“The ACT Government must take immediate action to empower our community housing providers to build more homes, through access to financial support and affordable land, so that all Canberrans have a safe and secure home no matter their income,” Dr Campbell concluded.

ACTCOSS advocates for social justice in the ACT and represents not-for-profit community organisations. Follow us @ACTCOSS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For more information or comment, please contact
Dr Emma Campbell, CEO, ACTCOSS, on 0424 910 617 or 02 6202 7200.