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A new map has illustrated the depths of Australia’s rental crisis, with many essential workers no longer able to afford rent in any part of the country.

Anglicare’s new heat map shows the areas in which essential workers, such as nurses and teachers, are suffering rental stress the most.

Nurses can afford only 1.5 per cent of rental homes, aged care workers only 1.1 per cent and early childhood educators a mere 0.9 per cent.

Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said the figures illustrated why many essential industries were facing worker shortages.

“Essential workers are the backbone of our communities, yet they cannot afford to rent,” she said.

“These maps show that more and more essential workers are being pushed into serious rental stress – and being forced out of their local communities.

“Virtually no part of Australia is affordable for aged care workers, early childhood educators, cleaners, nurses and many other essential workers we rely on. They cannot afford to live in their own communities.”

The national rental vacancy rate fell to below 1 per cent in the past 12 months, according to SQM Research.

“We already know that the private market is failing people on the lowest incomes — this Snapshot shows that it’s failing people on average incomes as well, including those in full-time work,” Ms Chambers said.

“We need to build affordable housing for those who need it, including essential workers.

“We need better protections for renters, including an end to no-cause evictions and limits on unfair rent increases, and we need tax reform to put people in need of homes, not investors, at the centre of our system.”

Ms Chambers also argued that building general homes in the hope that affordability would “trickle down” to renters wasn’t working.

According to Anglicare’s 2023 Rental Affordability Snapshot, none of the rental homes surveyed were affordable for Australians on JobSeeker or Youth Allowance, while those on full-time minimum wage could afford only 0.8 per cent of properties.

“So many essential industries are facing workforce shortages, with workers unable to afford to stay or move to parts of the country where these shortages are at their worst,” Ms Chambers said.

“These numbers help explain why.”

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By Rahul

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