Increased rent assistance

What’s the problem?

Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) is a financial supplement paid by the Federal Government to recipients of Commonwealth income support and family tax benefit. It is intended to help low income tenants and families who rent meet the high costs of renting in the private sector. The majority of low income Victorians are accommodated in the private rental market and rely on CRA to help them meet the cost of their rent.

The Commonwealth Government spends more than $3.4 billion nationally on CRA each year. Despite this, 40% of recipients of CRA still pay more than 30% of their income in rent. Spending 30% or more of income on housing costs for low-income households is a widely accepted measure of housing stress and a good indicator of housing related poverty, meaning that the cost of housing is a direct cause of financial hardship.

What’s the solution?

Tenants Victoria believes that CRA must be reformed to ensure that it really meets the needs of low income Australians renting privately.

Tenants Victoria advocates the following changes to CRA payments:

  • Increasing the maximum payment for all household types; and
  • Indexing maximum payments to median rent movements.

How can you help?

1) Tell us your story

Case studies about your experiences can help us to campaign for better tenancy laws and practices. We have lots of statistics based on our research and our advice work but your stories can add a strong ‘human’ voice to our evidence base. This can be very powerful when we are talking to politicians or the media about the issues that tenants face. It can also provide good examples of real problems when we are writing submissions or newsletters.

We will never use your story in a way that could identify you unless you specifically give us your consent. Tell us your story.

2) Tell the Minister

The Minister responsible for Commonwealth Rent Assistance is:

The Hon. Christian Porter MP
Federal Minister for Social Services

You can tell the Minister that he should reform CRA to ensure it meets the needs of low income Australians.

Send an email via the form below. You can add to our message or write your own.

Increased rent assistance

Dear Minister,
 
As you know the majority of low income Australians are accommodated in the private rental market and rely on Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) to help them meet their housing costs. Despite this, 40% of recipients of CRA still pay more than 30% of their income in rent.
 
Spending 30% or more of income on housing costs for low-income households is a widely accepted measure of housing stress and a good indicator of housing related poverty, meaning that the cost of housing is a direct cause of financial hardship.
 
I urge you to consider increasing the maximum CRA payment for all household types and indexing maximum payments to median rent movements.
 
Yours sincerely,

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Tenants Victoria acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.