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Anglicare’s Rental Affordability Snapshot confirms Sydney’s rental crisis has reached new lows

NewsApril 23, 2024

Anglicare Sydney’s annual Rental Affordability Snapshot has confirmed that rental affordability and supply have fallen even further in the past 12 months, despite last year’s record low figures.

The Snapshot, conducted 16-17 March 2024, reveals options for people living on income support payments have narrowed even further with only 22 affordable and appropriate properties in 2024, compared to 46 properties in the 2023 Snapshot. This has dropped from 0.4% to 0.2% of available properties.

The total 10,735 private rentals advertised on those dates in Greater Sydney and the Illawarra also represents the lowest number of listings in the last decade of the Snapshot.

Key findings:

  • Record low supply - 10,735 private rentals were advertised for rent in Greater Sydney and the Illawarra - the lowest number of listings in the last decade of the Snapshot.

  • 0.2% affordable for income support - of the 10,735, only 11 rentals were affordable and appropriate for a couple on the Age Pension, 7 rentals for a couple with two children on JobSeeker and 14 rentals for a single person on the minimum wage.

  • Many regions offer no options - 10 out of 18 regions had zero affordable and appropriate rentals for households on income support payments.

  • Minimum wage isn’t keeping up - affordable and appropriate rentals for households on the minimum wage have decreased by 81% over 5 years (987 in 2024 vs 5,292 in 2019).

  • Share houses increase but are less affordable - 2024 saw 74% more share houses advertised than last year (2,645 in 2024 vs 1,518 in 2023), but these were also less affordable, with only 7% affordable for single people on the minimum wage, 1% affordable for those on the Aged Pension and virtually nothing (0%) affordable for a single person on JobSeeker.

Rental Affordability Snapshot 2024

Read the Rental Affordability Snapshot report 2024

Anglicare Sydney CEO, Simon Miller, said “Housing stress for renters has been at crisis levels for some years now, and sadly this year is even worse.

“Only 10,735 rental properties were available in Greater Sydney and the Illawarra in 2024 – that’s the lowest number in the last decade of the Snapshot.  This is a 55% fall in listings compared to the 23,921 rental properties that were available in 2019.

“Not only is rental availability at a new historic low but so is affordability.

“For those on income support only 0.2% of available rentals were affordable and appropriate, underlining how many households living on benefits are experiencing housing stress.

“Share house listings increased by 74%. However, even with more available, they are less affordable than last year, with virtually nothing affordable for a single person on JobSeeker.

“Those working on the minimum wage have also felt the pinch over the last five years, with affordable and appropriate rentals falling by 81%, from 5,292 rental options in 2019, to just 987 in 2024.

“It’s clear that the minimum wage is falling well short of the increasing cost of housing, in addition to other impacts of inflation and high cost of living,” said Mr Miller.

As a not-for-profit provider of food and financial assistance, Anglicare provides families and individuals assistance with rent, food, and electricity through our community hubs.

Mr Miller said, “Our employees and volunteers are seeing more and more people seek assistance for the first time. Those who work hard to provide for themselves are stuck in a cycle of increased costs everywhere, with wages not keeping up.

“This housing crisis is not going away. We need an urgent and long-term commitment to improve affordability from all levels of government, the community services sector and the business sector. Low-income families need relief as they struggle to keep a roof over their head and put food on the table.

“Firstly, there must be greater investment in social and affordable housing, with 5,000 new social houses needed every year for the next 10 years in NSW. We also need an increase in JobSeeker to at least $80 per day, as well as better protection for renters by stopping ‘no grounds’ evictions.”

“Every year we think it can’t get worse, but it does. More must be done,” he said.

Anglicare’s Port Kembla social housing project gives hope

Anglicare Sydney officially opened its latest social housing development last week at the former Steelworks Hotel site in Port Kembla.

The development includes 30 studio apartments for social housing residents aged 55 and over, as part of a $10 million development which has been 50-50 funded by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice’s Community Housing Innovation Fund (CHIF) and Anglicare Sydney’s own fundraising and resources.

Before coming to Anglicare's social housing, about one half of residents were in the private rental market and over one third were homeless or in insecure housing, such as living in a refuge or staying with a friend.

Mr Miller said, “Projects like these are a lifeline to those at risk of homelessness, particularly at a time of significant cost-of-living pressure and worsening housing affordability. We thank the NSW Government for their partnership in this project and encourage all levels of government to increase their commitment to social housing projects to help more older Australians at risk of homelessness.”


Lauren White, Head of Communications

Anglicare acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the original and ongoing custodians of the lands and waters on which we live and work.

Inspired by the gospel of reconciliation in Jesus Christ, Anglicare's vision for reconciliation is a nation in which Australia's First Peoples are restored in dignity, respect, empowerment and opportunity.