Rental affordability affecting higher income households

Adam Smith 17 June 2016

Australian money dollars superA new study has found a lack of rental affordability is creeping upward to affect people at higher income levels.

The inaugural Rental Affordability Index from charity group National Shelter has found low income households have to devote up to 85% of their income on rent. The group said the threshold for housing stress is generally when households pay more than 30% of their income on rent.

However, rental affordability isn’t confined to low income households. National Shelter executive officer Adrian Pisarski said the latest index shows higher income households are also facing difficulties.

“Middle-income households are also falling into housing stress as high rents chew up incomes that aren’t keeping pace with rising housing costs. It is clear that rental unaffordability is dividing Australia,” Pisarski said.

Pisarski said low and moderate income households are finding themselves forced into fringe suburbs with less infrastructure and fewer opportunities.

“Essential service workers like teachers, nurses and police are also being affected, potentially leaving service gaps in the suburbs they’re being priced out of,” Pisarski said.

Pisarski called on state, local and federal governments to address worsening rental affordability.

“We need a national strategy to address the deterioration of rental stress but what we are getting is the opposite. Government cuts over the past five years, including cuts to the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), have only contributed to the current rental crisis,” Pisarski said.

Renting getting harder for low income families

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