33.8 C
Byron Shire
February 23, 2024

Housing snapshot – JobSeeker increase essential to address housing crisis, Anglicare says

Latest News

Knitting Nannas get behind Save Wallum campaign

With porcelain tea cups, lace-covered tables and plenty of knitting the Knitting Nannas Against Greed (KNAG) headed to the...

Other News

Mullum2Bruns Paddle returns

Exciting news for the 1,000 or so enthusiastic paddlers who come for competition, the dress-up fun, a family outing or showcasing their individual craft – the Mullum2Bruns Paddle returns !

Naked rally in Byron as gov’t agency calls time on ‘nude’ beach

Around 150 people rallied in support of a clothing-optional section of beach in the Byron Shire on Sunday, many of them nude.

Australian cycling legend’s legacy for Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital

The family of Australian cycling champion Sir Hubert Opperman has left a significant donation in his name to Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital to help it continue providing lifesaving veterinary care for Australian wildlife.

Tamara Smith announces new Wollongbar preschool

Tamara Smith MP, Member for Ballina and NSW Greens Early Learning Spokesperson, has welcomed an announcement from the NSW government to build a new public preschool adjacent to Wollongbar public school.

Affordable housing summit next week

As the affordable housing issue shows no signs of easing in the near future, key figures in the housing, property, and finance sectors will come together to tackle the country’s housing challenges at the ninth Affordable Housing Development & Investment Summit

Wallum: councillors failed to listen to the community

Thank you, Councillors Lyon, Pugh and Coorey for explaining what went wrong with the Wallum development application (DA) process on Facebook. The community f*cked up because they failed to object?

Increasing the rate of JobSeeker and other government support payments was essential to addressing the housing affordability crisis on the north coast, Anglicare’s Annual Rental Snapshot has found.

The Snapshot, which paints an all-too-familiar picture of the region’s housing crisis, states unequivocally that support payments must be lifted above the poverty line to give badly needed relief to people on the lowest incomes.

‘It will allow them to afford the essentials they need to live their lives, and plan for their futures,’ the report’s authors said.

‘Most importantly, it will give more people the benefits of a secure home.’

The Morrison government temporarily doubled the JobSeeker rate during the early COVID-19 lockdowns, before returning it to the base rate.

In April last year, it increased this base rate by $50 a fortnight.

New government not committed to JobSeeker increase

The new Labor government has not committed to any additional increase to the JobSeeker payment and has dropped plans for a review of the rate.

This is a blow to the many people struggling to find a permanent home on the north coast – a task that the snapshot found was getting harder.

Conducted on the weekend of 19 March 2022, the snapshot found that 327 private rentals were advertised for rent across the entire north coast.

Just three homes, or less than one per cent of the total available rentals, were suitable for households living on income support payments without placing them in housing stress.

Twenty-three individual properties, or seven per cent of the rental stock, were suitable for households on the minimum wage.

This compares to last year’s snapshot where three per cent of properties were suitable households on income support and 12 per cent of individual properties were suitable for households on the minimum wage.

Unique circumstances faced by the north coast 

The authors of the report said that the worsening situation was a consequence of the unique circumstances faced by residents of the north coast over the past year.

‘Housing was already under pressure due to people being dislocated from their homes after the fires and then covid saw an influx of people from urban areas, choosing to work from home in the regions,’ they said.

‘Reports from local Specialist Homelessness Services describe rental applicants offering several months, or up to a year, of rent in advance. With rents rising as demand rises, but with no increase in supply and the recent floods, it will only exacerbate this pressure.

Thousands of people displaced

‘The floods on the Far North Coast have seen thousands of people displaced; caravan parks, often the last viable low-cost option for renters were submerged.’

‘Rental accommodation on the north coast, already out of reach for those receiving the lowest incomes, is at an all-time low, available only to those with the ability to pay the premium attached.’

The reports found that, along with increasing the rate of JobSeeker and other support payments, the governments at both the State and federal level needed to take meaningful action.

‘Nobody should be forced to make impossible sacrifices just to keep a roof over their head,’ the report’s authors said.

‘It’s time to take real action, and make sure that everyone can have place to call home.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

NPWS wants to remove beach nudity option

For 26 years, Tyagarah Beach has been an oasis for the region’s naturist community – a space where bodies of all shapes and sizes could roam free without threat of fines or reprimands.

‘Key workers’ removed from Ballina Council’s housing project as Mayor seeks full market rents

Essential workers were the losers at the recent Ballina Council meeting when councillors actively removed the category for ‘key workers’ from their development of rental housing on land it owns in Wollongbar.

Tried catching a bus to TAFE or work in the Northern Rivers – it’s a serious challange

Getting around the Northern Rivers is no easy task without your own transport. Young people are unable to attend TAFE, and you can’t catch public transport to work due to the impossible timing of, and lack of access to, public transport. 

Community tree planting in Mullum Feb 24

Want to help locally to care for our environment and plant trees for our wildlife?