THE prospect of Griffith’s low-income earners being able to pay their rent has taken a heavy blow.
The federal government withdrew its 70 per cent funding for the final round of the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) in last week’s budget.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the government had scrapped $272 million in funding.
While assistance remains for now, questions will arise about the future of the scheme. The NRAS was established in 2008.
The federal government initiative, in partnership with the NSW government, aimed to increase new affordable rental housing supply.
The budget announcement will concern people who are assisted by the Department of Housing (NSW) or receive rent assistance from Centrelink.
The news came on the back of an Anglicare study into the Griffith rental market, which confirmed a grim reality for low-income earners.
Researchers surveyed 61 properties advertised for rent across Griffith, Bilbul and Yenda.
They found no affordable and appropriate for a single parent household with two children receiving a parenting payment.
Rawlinson and Brown’s property manager Loretta Tovo said the current rental market was difficult.
Ms Tovo said the withdrawal of 70 per cent funding made it hard for socially disadvantaged people.
“There is a rental boom,” she said.
“Not as many young people are wanting to buy as early than previously – they are now renting longer.
“It means we have 10 to 12 people coming through to look at a property and we can choose from them.”
Because Rawlinson and Brown is a private enterprise, the funding cuts will not directly affect them.
However, Ms Tovo was sympathetic for those who would feel the pinch.
She said many people relied on that “little extra help” to be able to afford their rent payments.