How to measure housing stress in your local government area

Georgia Allan

Georgia completed a Masters in Population Studies and Demography at Flinders University in Adelaide. At .id, Georgia is a consultant in .id's housing team. She was heavily involved in the creation and continued development of, the online tool developed to give councils an accessible evidence base for planning and advocacy. Georgia has prepared housing demand and supply analysis for a range of councils, including those in inner-city, middle ring, growth and peri-urban areas. When not in the office, she is likely to be cooking, knitting, crocheting, or buried in a good book.

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6 Responses

  1. Ned Cutcher says:

    In NSW, is not the change to the definition of “affordable housing” rather than “housing stress”?

    The new definition – which is limited to SEPP 70 and hasn’t been applied to the ARHSEPP – allows regional variation to income eligibility benchmarks for Affordable Housing delivered through the planning system, as defined in the EPA Act.

    Couching this as a “new definition of housing stress” is likely to cause confusion.

    • Georgia Allan says:

      Thanks for the comment Ned. Technically you are correct, the government changed the income brackets to be used to qualify people for affordable housing. However, this change has created a lot of curiosity from our Local Government clients in wanting to understand the households that are in these income groups and their housing costs. They have asked us to provide mortgage and rental stress data using these income brackets, so they can better understand the magnitude of the problem and the types of households it is affecting. In this sense the government changes have brought about a new definition or way of looking at housing stress.

  2. Jackie Hardy says:

    There’s another type of ‘housing stress’ that we’re seeing more and more of and that’s ‘no mortgage/rent housing stress’. It largely affects single, elderly people who have paid off their mortgage and comes from local Council rates, water rates, energy bills and property insurance. Many of these people are on a State pension which does not keep pace with rises in any of the aforementioned costs. This is leading to more and more people becoming homeless, or being forced to share housing.

    • Georgia Allan says:

      Thanks Jackie, that’s a great insight. It’s particularly hard to get data on people in such a situation, as questions about other housing costs (such as bills and rates) are not included in the Census. It would be great to hear more about how Kentish are approaching this

  3. Kim Wright says:

    I am currently in a bit of an argy bargy with a large company, who owns Resdiential Land Lease communities. We differ in our ways of working out housing stress. Is rent assistance for a pensioner counted as income and therefore included in “total income”?

    • Thanks for the question Kim – I think that rent assistance should be included in total income where it’s provided to a tenant. The question is whether all of them would include this in the Census – as it’s self-responded. We know there are some people counted in housing stress in the very low income category who don’t state all of their income – this includes overseas students who may have their rent paid automatically from their home country. So there is some messiness around the lowest income decile. I don’t have a clear answer for you as it depends how people have answered the question.

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