The high cost of rental housing in regional NSW

The Coast’s lack of affordable rental accommodation is a key driver of household poverty and homelessness, and the situation is unlikely to improve until more housing is available for people on lower incomes.

This stark assessment by St Vincent de Paul Society’s North Coast executive officer Michael Timbrell comes at the start of Anti-Poverty Week, October 14-20, a time to reflect on some of the greatest challenges facing our area.

“Rental affordability is a chronic problem, leaving many people homeless or on the verge of homelessness, struggling to support their families. The recent Affordable Housing Income Gap report produced by Compass Housing Services showed that five of the six most unaffordable LGAs for rentals in regional NSW are in the North Coast and Mid North Coast.

“The least affordable area was Byron Shire where median rent was $590 per week. The weekly household income required to cover this rent without experiencing housing stress – defined as more than one-third of household income – was $1967, whereas actual median income was only $1218. This means 48 per cent of income is needed to cover the median rent.”

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