Renters squeezed in Wyndham

By Alesha Capone

A new report has rated Werribee, Point Cook and Werribee South as “unaffordable” for most renters earning a yearly household income of $60,000.
The latest Rental Affordability Index (RAI) report – which is released annually by National Shelter, Community Sector Banking, SGS Economics & Planning and the Brotherhood of St Laurence – showed that within each of the three suburbs, there were between 80 to 100 affordable rental properties available between April and June, for households earning $60,000 annually.
Hoppers Crossing, Manor Lakes, Tarneit, Truganina and Wyndham Vale were ranked as “moderately affordable” in the RAI for households earning $60,000, with between 100 to 120 affordable rental properties available in each suburb.
For households earning $40,000 and below, the whole of Wyndham was ranked as “severely unaffordable” with just 50 to 80 affordable rental properties in each suburb.
According to the RAI report, single pensioners have an indicative gross annual income of $27,856; a pensioner couple $47,970; a single person on the Newstart Allowance $18,122; and a single part-time worker parent on benefits $39,510.
The RAI said that it considered rental housing unaffordable if the household income required to pay rent equalled 30 per cent or more of a household’s annual income.
The report said that for people on Newstart, rent usually cost at least 77 per cent of their income, in every Australian capital city.
National Shelter’s executive officer Adrian Pisarski said: “There is not one place in Australia where a Newstart recipient can rent affordably.”
Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Conny Lenneberg said there was an“urgent need” to raise the Newstart Allowance and to increase subsidised social housing.
Ms Lennebergs aid that many working families and people on Centrelink benefits were also facing “severe rental affordability issues”.
“Renting households on incomes below $60,000 per annum have no affordable rentals in our cities, including all capitals and nearly every centre on the east coast,” she said.