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Anglicare report exposes severity of Sydney's rental crisis

NewsApril 26, 20233 minute read

Anglicare Sydney’s annual Rental Affordability Snapshot has confirmed that there has been a dramatic fall in the number of available and affordable rentals in Greater Sydney since 2021. The annual Rental Affordability Snapshot conducted March 18-19 this year indicates that for people living on fixed incomes or income support payments there were only 46 properties affordable compared with 194 in 2022.

Anglicare Sydney CEO Simon Miller has expressed significant anxiety over the findings.

“While there were 24,798 rental properties available in 2021 in Greater Sydney and the Illawarra this has fallen to 14,522 in 2022 and now it is at its lowest since 2011, 11,395 – a 54% fall.”

The areas with the greatest falls in listings were:

  • the Inner Southwest of Sydney (a fall of 60%),
  • Parramatta (-51%) and
  • the Inner West (-49%).

“Not only is the vacancy rate historically low but so is affordability,” said Mr Miller.

This means that affordability has dropped from 1.3% to 0.4% of all properties.

“If you were a single parent with one child on either Parenting Payment or jobseeker and for single people on Youth Allowance there was nothing available.”

There was no improvement for single parents with any other assistance either.

For a single parent with more than one child with only one property available.

Similarly, for those on aged pensions it was also a calamity with only 9 rental properties for single people on the Age Pension and only 33 properties available for Aged Pension couples.

Couples with children on Jobseeker has only seven properties available in Sydney.

Shared housing had fallen as an option with only one share property affordable for a person on Jobseeker or Youth Allowance.

“When looking at people earning minimum wages – and this new gig economy that’s now an increasing number of people, there were only 1,512 properties affordable for people on the minimum wage compared with 3,714 in 2022, that’s a decrease of 59%.”

For a single person on the minimum wage there were only 23 rentals affordable.

“We’ve spoken rhetorically for some time about a forthcoming crisis, now we know the grim reality. The rental market is a disaster,” said Mr Miller

“We are seeing the end result of this on a daily basis as people seek assistance with rent, food, electricity from our community hubs.

Anglicare staff at the coal face are telling us that we are receiving more referrals than we ever have from other charities who are also becoming overwhelmed with demand. Right now, rental arrears are emerging as a major challenge.”

Anglicare’s cost of living research, to be launched in May, will illustrate some disturbing evidence of people prioritising rent over food and medication, since being hungry is a better option than being homeless – especially where there are children involved.

“This year’s Anglicare Rental Snapshot has confirmed that the rental crisis is now of such a magnitude that a bipartisan approach needs to be urgently adopted by government,” said Mr Miller, “and more social housing needs to be built at the rate of 25,000 per year for 10 years.”

Anglicare also supports the sector call for a raise in the level of Jobseeker to $76 per day in line with the pension and this needs to be indexed to wages as well as prices.

‘I am making a call to both sides of politics to implement policies that address the ongoing pressures on low-income families as they struggle to keep a roof over their head and put food on the table’ said Simon Miller ‘otherwise we will see more and more families and children experiencing homelessness’.

About Anglicare Sydney:

Anglicare Sydney has cared for the vulnerable and housed senior Australians for over 160 years across two world wars, two pandemics, and numerous economic recessions and depressions. We are a Christian non-for-profit that has cared for vulnerable people and seniors for over 160 years.

With an annual turnover of over $300-400 million, Anglicare Sydney employs over 4,000 people and welcomes the support of 2,300 volunteers. Anglicare Sydney operates across the Anglican Diocese of Sydney – Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, the Illawarra, Norfolk Island and the Shoalhaven – and the Anglican Diocese of Armidale.


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.