All Eurobodalla tenants are on a knife edge in a tough rental market, a Moruya welfare worker says.
“How secure are any of us? I don’t know how I’d be if I lost my job,” Anglicare’s southern regional manager Danea Cowell.
Her comments follow the release of a survey showing half of all advertised rental properties in the shire were unsuitable or unaffordable to those on Centrelink.
The eighth annual Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot was released last week, with a focus on what homes are available and affordable to low income earners or those on government support such as age pensions or student allowances.
The snapshot was taken on the weekend of April 1-2.
RELATED CONTENT: Moruya, Bay in housing crisis
Ms Cowell said in a tight rental market, those on low or subsidised incomes faced a tough fight.
Ms Cowell said finding somewhere “safe, secure and affordable” was a huge first step towards a more stable home life, employment and the chance to “start healing”.
“This is across all ages, all classes,” she said.
“How secure are any of us? I don’t know how I’d be if I lost my job and didn’t have support to call on.
“We can’t afford to distance ourselves from this issue. We need to start having the conversation, and de-stigmatise homelessness like we’ve done with mental health,” she said.
“We need people to know to get in contact with agencies before they get into a bigger hole.”
Support organisations like Anglicare provide referral services including for specialist housing needs. However, resources are stretched thin.
“We’re doing double what we would normally expect,” Ms Cowell said of Anglicare’s specialist housing service for the Eurobodalla.
“There are a lot of services trying to help and all well-intentioned. But it’s very tight.”
Anglicare Australia is calling on the government to take urgent action on rental affordability in Tuesday’s Budget.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.