Rentals remain severely unaffordable for many households

03 Dec 2020

The latest Rental Affordability Index from SGS Economics, Bendigo Bank, National Shelter and Brotherhood of St Lawrence shows that rents remain unaffordable and affordability has worsened for many people in our community.

  • Despite the Coronavirus Supplement, rental affordability for a single person on a JobSeeker payment remains Extremely to Severely Unaffordable in all metropolitan areas.
  • Rental affordability for single pensioners is alarmingly poor, facing Severely Unaffordable and Extremely Unaffordable rents. In metropolitan areas,  50% or more of the pensioner’s income would be spent on rent.
  • Some regional areas are moderately affordable for a pensioner couple

Across Australia there is an increase in households renting from 27% in 1997 to 32% in 2018.

The lack of investment in social and affordable housing stock has pushed more low-income Australians into the private rental market, where they pay unaffordable rents. According the the report, 43 % of all low-income households are in housing stress, compared to 35% in 2008. This rises to 48% for households in NSW.

Basic economics tells us that increasing the supply of social and affordable housing would relieve housing stress for thousands of people in our country.

Investing in building social housing will provide much needed relief to many Australians and kickstart the economy’s recovery. Read about the SHARP program here.