Pensioners spend up to 67 per cent of income on rent: study

Low income earners, students and pensioners are being locked out of Brisbane’s rental market, according to new figures.


On Wednesday a report from National Shelter and SGS Economics containing the Rental Affordability Index revealed most postcodes in inner to middle Brisbane remained moderately unaffordable to unaffordable.

The report showed that single pensioner households in Brisbane were spending up to 67 per cent of their income on rent while students were forking out up to 60 per cent of their income on rent.

Ian Yates, chief executive of seniors advocacy body COTA Australia, said National Shelter’s latest Rental Affordability Index was a stark reminder of just how dire the housing situation was for too many Australians.

“Too often we hear stories of age pensioners who are left to choose between using the last of their income to buy food or medication once they have met their obligations for rent and utilities,” he said.

The RAI deemed median rents higher than 30 per cent of a household’s income to be unaffordable.

The average rental household in Greater Brisbane spends 25 per cent of their total income on rent.

The Rental Vulnerability Index, a project commissioned by Tenants Queensland, looked at rental vulnerability as the vulnerability of persons to problems that may make their rental housing unaffordable, insecure or inappropriate.

The RVI showed in south-east Queensland parts of Chandler, Inala, Durack, Logan and Riverview ranked at the top end of the scale while renters in most of inner Brisbane, Wakerley, Gumdale, Nathan and Ferny Grove faced relatively low to no levels of rental vulnerability.

Tenants Queensland CEO Penny Carr said the RVI showed many vulnerable households had been pushed out to the urban fringe and regional areas in search of cheaper housing and were still facing rental stress, with fewer opportunities to improve their circumstances over the long term.

Ms Carr said the index would play a vital role in identifying the areas of most vulnerability and the support services needed.

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