Lim­ited af­ford­able rental op­tions for low-in­come house­holds

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Residential -

TEN­ANTS, like buy­ers, are fac­ing af­ford­abil­ity is­sues, with a study find­ing lim­ited rental op­por­tu­ni­ties in the pri­vate sec­tor for low-in­come house­holds.

Hous­ing Af­ford­abil­ity (Rental) – a study for the Perth metropoli­tan area looked at rental af­ford­abil­ity for house­holds on very low (less than $43,000), low ($43,000-$69,000) and mod­er­ate in­comes ($69,000$103,000).

The study was a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the Hous­ing Author­ity, Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of WA (REIWA) and Shel­ter WA.

While 35 per cent of pri­vate rental house­holds were very low or low-in­come, only 19 per cent of pri­vate rentals were af­ford­able to this group, mean­ing many were liv­ing in hous­ing stress or in­ap­pro­pri­ate hous­ing.

Of the 52,277 pri­vate rentals re­ported to dur­ing the 2015-16 fi­nan­cial year, only 3 per cent were af­ford­able to those on very low in­comes.

Al­though Perth’s rental mar­ket had been in a cycli­cal down­swing for the past few years, Hous­ing Author­ity gen­eral man­ager strat­egy and pol­icy Ta­nia Loosely-smith said there was still a sig­nif­i­cant short­age of af­ford­able hous­ing for West Aus­tralians on low in­comes.

“By a range of mea­sures, this short­age has en­trenched over decades and deep­ened in the last 10 years,” she said.

“It af­fects our vul­ner­a­ble cit­i­zens, as well as the key work­ers who are the back­bone of our econ­omy.

“The Hous­ing Author­ity is com­mit­ted to ad­dress­ing these chal­lenges in or­der to en­sure WA fam­i­lies, our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and our econ­omy thrive.

“That said, achiev­ing these out­comes needs both Com­mon­wealth and State lead­er­ship.”

Ms Loosley-smith said she wel­comed the Com­mon­wealth Govern­ment’s com­mit­ment to es­tab­lish a Na­tional Hous­ing Fi­nance and In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion and its fo­cus on mod­els to in­crease af­ford­able rentals for peo­ple on low in­comes.

“Large-scale mar­ket in­vest­ment in our rental sec­tor, par­tic­u­larly at the af­ford­able end of the mar­ket, is the miss­ing part of the Aus­tralian hous­ing con­tin­uum and can only be tack­led ef­fec­tively at a na­tional level,” she said.

“This, com­bined with on­go­ing fund­ing for the so­cial hous­ing sys­tem un­der the Na­tional Af­ford­able Hous­ing Agree­ment and on­go­ing State ef­forts on hous­ing sup­ply and di­ver­sity, is crit­i­cal to en­sur­ing that all Western Aus­tralians have a place to call home.”

Perth’s cen­tral sub-re­gion, which in­cludes Bassendean/ Bayswa­ter, Bel­mont, Can­ning, Fre­man­tle, Melville, Perth City, South Perth/vic­to­ria Park, Stir­ling East and West, Vin­cent/stir­ling South East and the western sub­urbs plan­ning re­gions, con­tained the bulk of af­ford­able rental hous­ing in Perth.

While it pro­vided 65 per cent of af­ford­able hous­ing for very low-in­come earn­ers and 49 per cent for low-in­come earn­ers, only 4 per cent of rentals in the sub-re­gion were af­ford­able for very low-in­come house­holds and 1`5 per cent were af­ford­able to low-in­come house­holds.

For very low- in­come house­holds in the sub-re­gion, the largest pro­por­tion (19 per cent) of af­ford­able rentals was in the South Perth/vic­to­ria Park re­gion.

For low-in­come and low­in­come up­per ($56,000$69,000) house­holds, the largest pro­por­tion of af­ford­able rentals (20 per cent) was in Stir­ling East.

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