No relief for renters



THE abolition of the vendor tax in NSW might be good news for investors but it hasn't brought any smiles to the faces of low income renters. According to the NSW Department of Housing figures, the Tweed and Byron are among the two most expensive areas of the NSW North Coast to rent.

Tweed Property Sales Licensee, Chris Chrisostomos said the average low income earner in Murwillumbah cannot afford to rent a new home, with market prices pushing rentals above $300.

He said the escalation of people buying houses for investment properties, and the escalation of the price of the houses has pushed the rentals sky high.

"There has been no marked increase in income for the lower income earner here but the market prices sales are up so this pushes up the rent price," he said.

And it seems that low-income earners are at a distinct disadvantage when finding rental properties and accessing rental assistance according to the NSW Acting Housing Minister, Joe Tripodi.

"Low-income earners receive the same rental assistance across the country but their rental costs differ dramatically," he said.

Mr Tripodi said the rent assistance scheme is less effective in places such as Sydney, or coastal areas in demand, due to the escalating rates.

"In 2004, 41% of people receiving rent assistance in NSW were still in housing stress despite the help," Mr Tripodi said.



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