A new study ranking State electorates in metropolitan Adelaide by rental affordability impact highlights the need for SA MPs to take urgent action on easing the crisis.
SACOSS' latest Cost of Living Update released by SACOSS argues that all politicians should be seeking to address rental affordability, but those representing the electorates highest in the rankings should champion the interests of renters.
The report ranks electorates in terms of the proportion of renters and of low-income renters in the electorate, the proportion of renters paying more than 30% of household income on rent, and the current median rental price and price increases over the 5 years between censuses.
When these rankings are added together, SACOSS found the following top ten electorates where rental affordability issues would impact most:
While Adelaide and Elizabeth are the electorates impacted most by rental affordability challenges, the position of Enfield as 5th on the list is important because the sitting member, Andrea Michaels is the Minister responsible for the government’s proposed reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act – reforms that SACOSS has criticised because they don't sufficiently focus on some key rental affordability issues.
Other findings include:
- Renters constitute 28% of Adelaide housing market, more than half of all renter households are in the bottom two income quintiles, and around 1/3 of them are in rental stress (spending more than 30% of their income on housing).
- Even in the cheaper suburbs of Adelaide, seeking to rent a 2-bedroom unit in December 2022 would be unaffordable for a single JobSeeker, Age Pensioner, Minimum Wage earner and single parent JobSeeker.
- CPI for all rentals increased by 4.9% in the year to December 2022, but median rents for new private rental tenancies across metropolitan Adelaide went up by 14.3%.
Quotes attributable to SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley
“There is a lot of data around that shows that we are in a rental affordability crisis. This report seeks to add a policy focus and make a call to specific parliamentarians to act to fix the problems.”
“While we expect that all politicians act in the interests of their constituency, those in the electorates we have highlighted have a special responsibility to speak out on rental affordability issues. With the top ten electorates including 5 current Ministers, and a former Premier and Minister now in Opposition, this should be an opportunity for significant voices to be raised in the interest of renters.”
“This rental affordability crisis needs urgent action. And the government must use its review of the Residential Tenancies Act to increase renters' security of tenure and rule out exorbitant rent increases by putting a cap on rental price increases.”
“We need to be clear. When rents go up faster than the inflation rate, landlords are seeing an increase in their real income at the expense of renters who will struggle more to make ends meet.”