New research suggests a bleak outlook within the rental market for people on low incomes, despite an increase in the number of rental properties in the Illawarra.
The Anglicare Sydney research indicates that while there were more listings of rental properties compared to last year, still less than one per cent were affordable for people on low incomes in Greater Sydney and the Illawarra.
Anglicare Sydney's Rental Affordability Snapshot analysed more than 23,900 rental properties that were available in Greater Sydney and the Illawarra region on the weekend of March 23-24, 2019.
The study's results for the 'Illawarra region' are sorted into two statistical areas: the Illawarra, and the Southern Highlands/Shoalhaven.
The report says of the 1268 properties (compared to 1051 properties in 2018) available for private rent in the Illawarra region on March 23-24 this year, only 16 properties were affordable and appropriate, without placing households who were receiving income support payments into rental stress.
Rental stress occurs when more than 30 per cent of a low-income household's income is spent on rent.
Suitable properties were located in the Shoalhaven or Southern Highlands (eight) and eight in the Illawarra statistical area.
According to the report, no rental properties in Sydney and the Illawarra were affordable and appropriate for single people on the Parenting Payment, Disability Pension, Newstart or Youth Allowance.
There were few suitable properties available for other household types, including singles on the Aged Pension (seven properties); couples with two children on Newstart (11 properties); and single parents with two children on the Parenting Payment (one property).
The report also indicates a steady decline in affordable rental properties within the Illawarra for people on income support since 2015 - from three per cent to one per cent.
"The report reveals that many on supported incomes are still struggling to keep a roof over their heads," Grant Millard, Anglicare Sydney CEO said. "While the overall pool of rental properties has increased, less than one per cent are affordable for the people who turn to us for support.
"For many, keeping a roof over their head means spending 30 per cent or more of their income in rent, pushing them into rental stress.
"For those struggling below the poverty line, that doesn't leave much for food, utilities, transport costs and unexpected bills.
"In some instances, trying to maintain a home can entrench people in financial need, and hinder families from breaking that cycle of disadvantage."