Canberrans on JobSeeker would be left without a single affordable rental by the end of September, as a major charity warned scores of residents faced eviction due to crashing rental affordability.
New analysis showed only one of almost 800 properties in the nation's capital was considered affordable for a person on the doubled JobSeeker payment.
And when the rate is reduced at the end of the month there will be none.
The properties were examined part of Anglicare's rental affordability snapshot, which surveyed the cost of almost 77,000 rental properties listed across Australia on the weekend of August 1.
Nationwide, only 1 per cent of rentals could be considered affordable for a person on the doubled JobSeeker payment.
A rental property was considered affordable if a tenant spent less than 30 per cent of their income on rent.
The current JobSeeker payment of $1100 a fortnight is set to be cut to $800 on September 25. Based on that payment rate only 0.2 per cent of rental properties across Australia would be affordable for a person on JobSeeker.
If the government reverted back to the old rate of $550 there would only be 13 affordable properties in the country for a person on the welfare payment.
It has prompted further calls on the federal government to make the increased JobSeeker rate permanent.
Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said with many renters out of work the doubled rate of JobSeeker was the only thing keeping them afloat.
"Rent deferrals and eviction moratoriums are ending soon and some people are in arrears for thousands of dollars," she said.
"Many are facing cuts to JobSeeker at the same time. This is a ticking time bomb.
"We must raise the rate of these payments for good. If the government goes ahead with planned cuts - and if the age and disability pensioners are left out - renters will be pushed deeper into poverty and homelessness."
Anglicare normally produces the rental affordability snapshot in a weekend in March, but this year the support agency released an update in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The updated report has found rental affordability had actually deteriorated since March.
Of rentals analysed in Canberra and Queanbeyan in the March report, 2.5 per cent, or 30 properties, were considered affordable to a single person on the doubled JobSeeker rate.
"For people on the lowest incomes, rentals are even less affordable than they were back in March," Ms Chambers said.
Ms Chambers said while the perception was that rents had dropped and more properties had become available this was concentrated at the higher end of the market.
She said demand had actually increased for lower-priced rentals and in some cases had pushed people into homelessness.
"You can see people are getting out of home ownership or getting out of a lease where they might have been OK to spend a larger rent," she said.
"People in the medium end of the rental market are looking to restructure their finances, so moving to lower cost rentals and what is happening is we just have this squeeze at the lower end of the market.
"Affordability is really being affected by a downward shift of the whole population.
"Unfortunately where it bites is people who are on the lowest incomes. Those people in the lower end of the rental market are coming into our homelessness places."
Canberra often has very few affordable properties for those on welfare in the annual rental snapshot.
The recent analysis of 768 properties showed there were only 17 properties in Canberra that could be considered affordable for low-income earners.
These included four rentals for a couple on the age pension, 10 rentals for a couple with two children on the minimum wage, two rentals for a single person on the minimum wage and the one property for a single person on the doubled JobSeeker payment.