About 30,000 of more than 83,200 people receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance are still struggling to pay their rent, prompting AAH to call for a 30 per cent increase to the payment, or between $16 an $25 a week.
While it cannot say if the problem is growing, because it is the first time analysis has been done, non-profit housing organisations say the situation is worsening as Housing Trust stock diminishes.
Adelaide Benevolent Society chief executive John Lardner said people regularly went to the society paying 50 per cent or more of their income on housing.
The AAH defines “housing stress” as paying more than 30 per cent of income on housing.
Mr Lardner said the real number of people in housing stress would be worse than the data showed because “that’s just people on government benefits”.
“It goes deeper than that – it’s horrendous,” he said.
“The basic issue is the Housing Trust is not increasing its stock and we don’t build enough houses each year in the private market.”
Mr Lardner said while increasing rent assistance would be helpful short-term, a long-term solution would be to boost funding to non-profit developers. AAH, which represents groups including the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society, Homelessness Australia, Centacare and Southern Cross Community Housing, says raising rent assistance by 30 per cent would lift 7200 South Australians out of housing stress.
Federal Housing Minister Brendan O’Connor said the Government was investing $280 million to deliver 3791 new affordable rental homes in SA under a National Rental Affordability Scheme.
“We know people are struggling, which is why rent assistance is adjusted twice a year in line with inflation, most recently on March 20,” he said.
Click here for source of article written by Lauren Novak on 22/4/12