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Aug 15, 2023
Western Australia’s essential workers are struggling to afford housing within their own communities, according to a new report released by Anglicare Australia.

The Rental Affordability Snapshot: Essential Workers Report is a companion piece to the Anglicare WA 2023 Rental Affordability Snapshot. The results are staggering and show essential workers are finding it incredibly tough to afford housing within their own communities.

Less than 1% of WA’s rentals were affordable for an aged care worker, early childhood educator, cleaner, construction worker, hospitality worker, delivery driver, postal worker, retail worker, or a social and community service worker.

Further, nurses and ambulance officers could afford only 1% of the properties available, and even the highest paid of the essential workers included in the report, teachers, could afford only 2% of available rental properties.

Anglicare WA CEO Mark Glasson says the results are no surprise after several years of declining availability, and increasing interest rates, rental prices, and cost of living.

“Western Australia’s rental market is in deep crisis. The spike in rents, combined with the rising cost of living, are making it near impossible for an increasing number of Western Australians to make ends meet.

“We already know that years of neglect and under-investment in social housing have left people on income support and minimum wage struggling in the increasingly unaffordable private rental market,” Mr Glasson said. 

“This report shows the situation is almost as dire for a range of full-time essential workers, including teachers, paramedics, nurses, and firefighters.” 

Mr Glasson said WA needs a long-term solution to build social and affordable homes to restore the health of our housing system. 

“The State Government’s recent investments in this area have been welcome, but with so many families still struggling to maintain the roof over their heads, we need immediate rent relief for low-income households, similar to the Residential Rent Relief Grants scheme introduced during the pandemic.”

“Without immediate action by both Federal and State Governments, more households will plunge into housing stress, more names will be added to the social housing waitlist, and more families will descend into poverty, and even homelessness.”

Media Contact: James McHale, 0405 279 024, 

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