Rental prices hit hard in the Clarence Valley

THE Rental Affordability Snapshot has highlighted that single people on low income wages find it difficult to secure rental properties along the North Coast, including the Clarence Valley.

It was found that there were no properties considered affordable and appropriate for single people claiming Newstart or Youth Allowance, which is consistent with the past five years of data.

"These findings confirm what we have long experienced in our work throughout the region.

"Unfortunately the problem is increasing, and is further exacerbated in regional areas by the lack of employment and training opportunities," Acting CEO of Anglicare North Coast Jim Hodge said.

More than 750 properties available for rent were looked at nine locations including the Clarence Valley, according to the Rental Affordability Snapshot. Anglicare North Coast, who conducted the study, found there was a 9.71% increase in rental properties from the same study in 2015.

Families who were earning minimum wage incomes had significantly more access to rental properties. However, only 26% of the available properties were considered appropriate for couples with two children on minimum wages with the Family Tax Benefit A.

David Morrison, the Acting Director of Environment, Planning and Community at the Clarence Valley Council, said most of their work into developing a housing affordability plan happened in 2009.

As part of the housing affordability plan the council put into place, developers who proposed the subdivision of 20 or more blocks, they are required to address housing affordability issues.

"They must come up with a plan to show how their houses affect housing affordability," he said.

Alternatively, they can provide a certain number of dwellings in their development dedicated to affordable housing.

Mr Morrison also said the housing affordability plan also highlighted the need for forward planning in terms of development.

"Build a smaller house now, and add to it in the future as their family grows," he said.

The Clarence Valley Council were aiming to influence the building industry to make more affordable houses.

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