Western Australia worst in the nation for housing stress, Salvos say By Nicolas Perpitch Posted 12 minutes ago

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Western Australia worst in the nation for housing stress, Salvos say By Nicolas Perpitch Posted 12 minutes ago

Postby Seano » Tue May 24, 2016 9:34 pm

West Australians (sic) are more likely to be experiencing extreme housing stress than any other state in Australia, according to research by the Salvation Army.

The welfare group's annual Economic and Social Impact survey found some single parents in WA have less than $16 per day left after accommodation expenses.

The Salvation Army classified extreme stress as residents who need to use more than 50 per cent of their income to pay the rent.

The survey revealed that in WA almost two thirds — or 63 per cent of income — is spent on accommodation, more than in any other state.

It found 77 per cent of people surveyed in WA were experiencing extreme housing stress, compared with 68 per cent nationally.

"The picture that is painted by this survey is quite disturbing, with significant instability within families and individuals due to insufficient levels of income," Salvation Army spokesman Warren Palmer said.

The report surveyed more than 1,600 Salvation Army clients.
Children in crisis due to poverty

It also found children continued to be severely affected by poverty.

The report found 27 per cent of WA families surveyed could not buy medicines that had been prescribed by a doctor for their children, well over the national average.

Children also felt an increased level of social exclusion and isolation.

Nationally, 69 per cent of children could not afford an out-of-school activity or sport, while in WA the figure was 73 per cent.

Poverty also increased housing instability, with 43 per cent of the WA families surveyed moving an average of three times in 12 months.

Five per cent had to move 6 times in the past year, a quarter of the time due to family and domestic violence.

"Housing stress, and as a consequence severe deprivation for children, indicates a sector of our community that continues to be entrenched in crisis," Mr Palmer said.

"To survive, it is a real concern that people are turning to desperate measures such as pawning belongings and pay day lenders evidenced clearly by this business growing rapidly. Simply people are feeling trapped."

The Salvation Army appealed to the Coalition and the Labor Party during the federal election "to consider their real commitment to making life better for those who are already in poverty".

"To be effective, the social services sector needs assurance of funding from Government not driven by election cycles and cutting essential services such as financial counselling in Western Australia," Mr Palmer said.

"This only leaves people more exposed to desperate measures."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-25/w ... ay/7442986

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