Rent rises make low-income groups worse off – survey5:30 AM Friday Nov 15, 2013
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Rent increases have made all low-income groups in Auckland except superannuitants worse off in real terms than they were five years ago, according to the Salvation Army.
A report by the army’s social policy analyst Alan Johnson shows rents for the cheapest quarter of rented homes in the former Auckland City have risen faster than average since 2008 – by 21.6 per cent for three bedrooms and 25 per cent for two bedrooms in the lower quartile, in a period when median rents across Auckland rose by 17 per cent and consumer prices by only 12.5 per cent.
But benefits have been adjusted only in line with consumer prices, and the maximum rates of accommodation supplement have not changed since 2005.
The result is that five out of six low-income groups examined in the report are now worse off in real terms than they were five years ago by amounts ranging from $1.33 a week for a single sickness beneficiary renting a one-bedroom flat to $33.64 a week for an unemployed couple with three children renting a three-bedroom house, both at lower-quartile rents.