Daily News - 30 April 2015

Posted 30 April 2015 1:04pm



We care about housing - we just don't care to act

Kasy Chambers - The ABC

The annual snapshot of rental housing is released today and reveals the stark impact of inadequate and insecure housing. And yet while we all "care" about this, we don't take actions to change it, writes Kasy Chambers.

At a time when popular sympathy and awareness is going out to women trying to escape domestic violence, to isolated unsupported people living with mental illness, and to young adults graduating from a childhood in out-of-home care into homelessness and joblessness, the terrible shortage of secure affordable housing that they face is rearing its head.

We've got some numbers to show you what that means. Anglicare Australia's annual snapshot of rental housing, released today, has found less than 1 per cent of the 65,600 properties for rent across Australia would be suitable for a woman with children - in desperate need - on income support. There were only 16 rooms or dwellings out of 65,600 that a young person relying on the Youth Allowance could afford. We found only 10 properties suitable for someone living with a mental illness and looking for work.

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Affordable housing system 'broken' as more Australians struggle to pay rent than ever before, Anglicare says

Nicola Berkovic - The Australian

Leading Aboriginal, legal and welfare groups will today launch a ­national campaign to reduce soaring indigenous imprisonment rates and “shocking” levels of vio­lence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The National Justice ­Coa­lition’s blueprint for tackling the overrepresentation of indigenous people in the justice system includes greater investment in early intervention strategies to prevent crime, reduce domestic ­violence and divert Aboriginal people from prisons with the aim of closing the gap on imprisonment and violence rates by 2040.

Coalition co-chairman Shane Duffy, who is also the head of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, said the current approach to crime and public safety was not working. “We are spending more and more on prisons and not enough on ­initiatives that can prevent crime in the first place,” he said. The Change the Record campaign follows an 88 per cent jump in the number of indigenous people in prison from 2004 to 2014.

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Tax Office statistics reveal the 55 millionaires who paid no tax

Peter Martin - The SMH

Fifty-five of Australia's highest earners paid no income tax at all during 2012-13, not even the Medicare levy.

All earning at least $1 million, they managed to write their taxable incomes down to below the $18,200 tax-free threshold, although for most the exercise was expensive.

Tax statistics released Wednesday reveal that 40 of them claimed an extraordinary $42.5 million for the "cost of managing tax affairs" meaning they each paid an average of $1 million to an adviser prepared to help to bring down their taxable income, which is itself a tax deduction.

Between them they reported earning $129.5 million, an average of $2.3 million. By the time their accountants had finished with them they reported losing a combined $12.8 million.

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Domestic violence victims 'trapped' by lack of affordable rental accommodation

Liz Hobday - The ABC

Women in Melbourne wanting to escape family violence are often trapped by a lack of affordable housing, new figures released by the Council to Homeless Persons show.

The figures revealed there was only one suburb in Melbourne where a single woman on an average wage could rent a two-bedroom house without experiencing financial stress.

That suburb is Melton, 35 kilometres from the CBD, where the average rent on a two-bedroom property is $245 a week.

In Cranbourne the average rent is $280 a week, while in inner city Fitzroy it is $565 a week.

The ABC spoke to Kylie, a young mother who had first-hand experience with housing stress.

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