Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Rental properties are unffordable for welfare ppl & low wage earners in Aussie cities

At least the beach is a great leveller.....
It's official. Renting in Australia is unaffordable (that being over 30% of income) for everyone on low incomes or on welfare; including Disability Support Pensions, which means old aged pensioners as well, as the money is the same rate. 

David and I are at about 60% of our income on rent, with Housing in the never never on the waiting list. In fact I sent a raving email dummy spit to my local federal politician about that and the bullshit episode of the food charity having it's funding cut. I'll post that email below. Matt Thistlethwaite, the federal Labor opposition member, his offices just down the road from us, wants to have a meeting with us to discuss these issues. 

*faints* WTF? A bloody federal politician wants to speak with us? What the fuckin fuck? *faints again*

Anyway, we have probably the most fucked up housing industry in the bloody world, or at least not far from it. A function of gov is supposed to be to provide housing to it's citizens, by whatever mechanism is appropriate for that task. 

It may include using the commercial world to accomplish this, or perhaps directly funding low income dwellings for people that have all their support in a particular area, like us. Why should we have to move to Timbuktu-too and spend an hour on public transport just to see our GP's? I've been seeing my HIV doctor for years through thick and thin. Am I supposed to trust some country bumpkin who knows nothing about HIV or my situation, just because gov policy? 
Anglicare’s Rental Affordability Snapshot calculates this figure based on the rental properties available on realestate.com.au over a single weekend, assessing their affordability for minimum wage earners and welfare recipients. That’s a field of 67,365 properties across the country, and the results weren’t just dire in capital cities. 

 Overall, Anglicare found that only 485 of those 67,365 properties were affordable for an individual on the disability support pension. Only 180 rentals were affordable for a single parent with one child on Newstart, and only 3 were affordable for a single person on Newstart. Only 1952 properties were affordable for a single person on minimum wage. 

Affordable, in this case, means rent below 30% of a person’s total income, which is a pretty commonly used benchmark — for people on low incomes, rent above 30% of total income can lead to financial stress and the need to make difficult choices. 
 “The reality is that our housing system is failing millions of Australians,” Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said. “Our system is rigged against renters. The tax system is driving up the cost of rent for millions of Australians.” Junkee
Australia's housing policies have been a complete failure. What we have now via negative gearing are rich investors tearing down affordable housing and building luxury apartments that poor people can't afford to live in, with the gov paying them to leave the properties vacant. This whilst the poor are increasingly driven in to homelessness.

On top of that many gov ministers take advantage of negative gearing and have multiple properties. Yes, the members of parliament who refuse to change the system. Whilst David and I can do nothing about our situation except to accept our poverty whilst we wait for up to 15 years for a public housing place to come up.

Here's the email that was reacted to:

Hi Matt,
Thanks for your time.

My partner David and I currently access a service that provides good quality fresh fruit and veges through a local community centre. As we pay 60% of our pensions on rent we are poor, and in fact it was Centrelink at Maroubra Junction that told us to see a charity if we were having problems. This was the result of that.

However we're getting cut off from this service if we can't pay $20 for each box of fruit and veges. The full service, from the end of June, will only be accessible for people 65 and over. Everyone under that age won't get it unless there's about a 40% increase in payments. From $12 to $20. An impossible amount to cover. It was the head of the community centre that rang me, very apologetically and very understanding of our situation, entirely empathetic. She said the money has all gone to the NDIS. I appears the gov is cutting funds from needed services to fund the NDIS. From my understanding that wasn't the original Gillard plan. BTW I don't qualify for the NDIS, pretty much simply because I'm not in a wheelchair.

What's more, after 4 years or so on the Housing waiting list (which we registered at the Maroubra Junction Housing office for) our rent has increased from $380wk to  $425wk at the end of this month. The latest is a $30 a fortnight increase bring it up to $425, despite me the leaseholder being here for over ten years now. We've just got about a $10 each increase in pension David and I (my carer partner) but that doesn't even cover the rent increase. We tried to get on the emergency Housing list through ACON but Housing told us we got too much money to qualify. I appealed to no avail. It was humiliating.

Now the help we access is being cut. Either that or pay a stupid amount. I'm still weighing up whether to end the service because of this or keep it going every second week. Am leaning towards ending the service and just going without.

David and I have both worked 30 years full time. I did so being the carer for my disabled wife and father of my then young daughter, paying tax through the nose the whole time. She died in 2006 with me at her bedside, glad that her suffering was finally over. We've both done our bit as best we could. To be treated by the state like this in much a manner is appalling, not just for us but for anyone who's unfortunate enough to find themselves in our situation.

I simply ask that you relate the above issues to your fellow federal parliamentary party so as to raise these issues with this gov. People need to know what they're doing to the poor and ill.

BTW thanks so much for your last response re marriage equality some time ago now. It was an encouraging letter in a time of horribleness for David and I. We're finally getting married next month. Thank you.

You can find my blog post about this whole issue at the link.https://lifewithhiv-peter.blogspot.com/2018/04/the-fruit-vege-charity-we-use-has-had.html