- by cnn
- 01 Oct 2023
Harris is part of a growing number of people in New South Wales who live alone and in poverty. A report published last week by the NSW Council of Social Services found the rate of poverty among single-person households is highest in regional parts of the state, where Harris lives. But the rise has been the most significant in Greater Sydney, climbing from less than one fifth of people in 2016, to almost one quarter of people by 2021 and surpassing the rate of poverty in single-parent households. More than half of the people living alone do so in poverty in suburbs including Fairfield, South Coogee, Riverwood, Ashcroft and Guildford.
One of the major triggers for the increase, according to the report, has been increasing rents. Alongside bills, food and petrol, this has only further ballooned since 2021.
The NCOSS report found the rise in poverty among those living alone is linked to more people working part-time compared to 2016. There are also higher rates of poverty among women who live alone.
The report said political discourse often focuses on families living in poverty, leading policy makers to lose sight of how many people living alone are struggling.
When Harris, who lives on the Central Coast, thought about applying for social housing when she could no longer afford rent in her hometown nine years ago. But 10 years, the average wait time in NSW, was too long.
Her dad ended up offering her to move into a home he owns at a discounted $550 a fortnight. But still, she is barely getting by.
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