Homes beyond reach for those in need: report

Anglicare Community services NSW South and West Director Simon Bennett.

Anglicare Community services NSW South and West Director Simon Bennett.

A NEW report has found most rental homes in the Snowy Mountains are beyond reach for those in need.

Anglicare's annual National Rental Affordability Snapshot showed local residents receiving a government allowance are bearing the brunt of the rental affordability crisis.

A survey of properties advertised for rent in Jindabyne and Cooma on April 5 highlighted there were limited affordable property options in the area.

Of the 69 properties, none were deemed affordable and appropriate for singles on a Newstart allowance or singles on youth allowance.

Although the number of rental properties had grown from 36 to 69 in the year to 2014, the snapshot found the number of affordable options were limited, Anglicare Community services NSW South and West Director Simon Bennett said.

"Although there has been an increase in the number of rental properties on the market compared to last year, there were still very limited affordable property option in the Snowy Mountains for the majority of low income household groups we surveyed," Mr Bennett said.

Singles and single parents on government payments were worst off with just one option for a single parent household with two children receiving a parenting payment.

There was also a decrease in the number of suitable properties for couple on the aged pension with the number of affordable and appropriate properties dropping by more than 10 per cent from 2013 to 2014.

"As Canberra and Queanbeyan's rental costs increase, more lower-income households who work in the national capital are electing to live in the Snowy region in order to access cheaper housing. Residents must choose between living in extreme financial stress often foregoing basic items like food, to live closer to jobs and services," Mr Bennett said.

"Young people have it particularly tough. The market is far beyond their price range and for some it can lead to couch surfing and homelessness."

THE median price for rental homes in Cooma was $180 in 2011 according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In 2006 the median rental price was $135.

Meanwhile, our neighbours across the border in the ACT had the highest median weekly rental payment of all states and territories in the country of $380 in 2011.

The median weekly household rent in NSW was $300 and $285 for Australia.

Median rental prices in 2011 in Bombala was $128 and in Snowy River Shire $230.

ABS Director of Rural and Regional Statistics Lisa Conolly said the cost of renting in a region may change over time due to a number of factors, including changes in workforce demand, population growth or decline, or changing tenure arrangements.

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