Housing myths busted as Tasmania ranks number one for households in rental stress – with 1 in 3 Tasmanian renters now struggling

Media releases News | May 1, 2019

More than 18,880 Tasmanians are in living in rental stress and struggling in housing they can’t afford new data released today shows.

The University of NSW analysis for national housing campaign, Everybody’s Home, shows that Tasmania is ranked number one out of all the states for the estimated proportion of the state’s households experiencing rental stress.

Out of the 55,467 households that are renting in Tasmania, 34% of them are living in rental stress, a 17% increase since 2011.

The seat-by-seat comparison compares rents and incomes across electorates to identify the number of households in rental stress.

Shelter TAS Chair, Andrea Witt said Tasmanians would not be surprised that Tasmania is the worst state for rental stress – with ordinary working families struggling to keep up with rapid increases in rents since 2016.

Ms Witt said the analysis shows Tasmanian renters are doing it tough throughout the state.

Ms Witt said, “The CoreLogic Rent Review for March 2019 shows that rents in Hobart have increased by 44% over the last 10 years, which is twice the national increase of 22% over that period. The trend of increasing rental hardship shows no sign of reducing in Tasmania.

“The National Rental Affordability Index has shown for over two years that Hobart continues to be the least affordable capital city in Australia, with households earning a moderate income paying close to 30 percent of their income on rent, and lower income households even worse off.

“With this dire shortage of affordable private rental housing, action is urgently needed to address Tasmania’s housing crisis,” said Ms Witt.

National Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson, Kate Colvin said the data busted the myth that housing affordability is only an inner Melbourne or Sydney issue.

Ms Colvin said Tasmania’s housing crisis has been ignored at a Federal level and it was time for all levels of government to step up and address the issue.

“The narrow focus on real estate prices for young home-buyers means that nearly 19,000 Tasmanian households in rental stress are being forgotten,” Ms Colvin said.

“34% of households renting in Tasmania are living in rental stress, a 17% increase since 2011, which is far too many people struggling to keep a roof over their head, as well as afford the basics of life.

“Underinvestment in social housing, increasing rents and low wage growth mean that low income earners, and middle income earners are struggling.

“State governments are being left to pick up the tab for woeful housing policy at a national level. All levels of government have a role to play in ensuring everybody in Australia has a home and that means Federal intervention as well.”

Ms Colvin said ahead of the Federal election voters expect all parties to announce policies that will address the cost of housing – the biggest single cost of living for households.

Everybody’s Home campaign is calling on the Federal Government to:

  1. Develop a national strategy to provide the national shortfall of 500,000 social and affordable homes;
  2. Prioritise home buyers over investors by resetting the tax system;
  3. Ensure a better deal for renters;
  4. Increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance to provide immediate relief for renters in chronic rental stress;
  5. Create a national plan to end homelessness by 2030.

Media enquiries: Jenny Stokes 0478 504 280

The Everybody’s Home campaign has united the not for profit housing, homelessness and community sectors with the nation’s largest charities in calling for leaders to fix Australia’s housing system so that everybody has a home.

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