What types of workers are lower income and need affordable housing options?
In this blog, Georgia looks in further detail at the income bands many states are using in the housing affordability space. Just who falls into these bands? Are they ‘key workers’ for your local economy?
Over the past year or so, I’ve written a lot about housing affordability. One of the main components of understanding housing affordability is understanding people’s incomes. For those in Victoria and New South Wales, the incomes to be used in the housing affordability space have been defined by the respective State Governments. In this context, the incomes have been broken into three bands, Very Low, Low and Moderate income. Something we get asked about all the time is what types of occupations fall into these income bands.
The assumption is that these income bands include ‘key workers’ which are often defined as including the following occupations:
- School teachers
- Midwifery and nursing professionals
- Defence force members, fire fighters and police;
- Health and welfare support workers;
- Hospitality workers;
- Child carers;
- Cleaners and laundry workers; and
- Automobile, bus and rail drivers.
These groups are generally considered important to support the future growth of the service sector economy. Of course, this definition will change from location to location and will depend on the economic role and function of a region.
So are key workers included in these income bands? I decided to take a look, using lone person households and weekly individual income in Greater Melbourne as an example. The table below shows some of the occupations that sit in each income band.
Aged Pension recipient
Fast food cooks
Bakers and cooks
Aged and disability carers
Midwives and nurses
Tourism and travel advisers
Real estate agents
So it looks as though the assumptions are correct – the prescribed income bands do include the majority of ‘key workers’. It’s really important to have affordable housing options in your local area for these workers, as they are vital to supporting your economy.