Greens MLC Jan Barham says affordable housing is down more than 6% on the North Coast according to Anglicare. Photo David Nielsen / The Northern Star
Greens MLC Jan Barham says affordable housing is down more than 6% on the North Coast according to Anglicare. Photo David Nielsen / The Northern Star DAVID NIELSEN

Rental crisis hits North Coast

JUST 6.8% of rental properties across the North Coast were affordable for low-income households receiving income support payments, new research by Anglicare shows.

This represents a decline of 6% from last year, according to Anglicare.

"For the fourth year running, Byron Bay recorded no affordable properties available for a household in receipt of income support. There were also no properties available in Ballina or Tweed Heads", Jan Barham, Greens NSW spokeswoman on Housing said.

"Of greater concern is that Byron, Ballina and Tweed Heads have no affordable properties for some households on the minimum wage, showing that even working households can no longer afford to rent in key areas on the North Coast.

"Not only is the North Coast home to a large number of people on income support, its economy depends on a casual workforce.

"The lack of affordable housing means that many of these workers struggle to put a roof over their head because of their insecure incomes."

The Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot recommended that social housing be boosted on the North Coast and that the tax system be reformed to reduce the cost of housing.

"NSW has 60,000 households on the social housing waiting list, with some waiting up to 20 years for housing," Ms Barham said.

"These households are forced into housing stress in the private rental market, or end up homeless because there is nowhere affordable to live."

"The housing crisis is not just happening in our cities; it's happening in the regions, too.

"People on low-incomes are being excluded from communities that were once known for their diversity because there is no social housing available.

"Government must act to turn around the trend of unaffordable housing that is sadly becoming a hallmark of our towns and cities."


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