1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
   Page tools: Print Print Page


Low income rental affordability(a)(b)
Graph Image for Low income rental affordability(a)(b)

Footnote(s): (a) Year ending 30 June. Data unavailable for years 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2007 and have been interpolated. (b) See Housing glossary for definitions of 'Low income renters' and 'Low income rental affordability'.

Source(s): ABS data available on request, Survey of Income and Housing


Access to appropriate and affordable rental accommodation is a fundamental requirement for those who, due to their limited economic resources, have no option but to rent. The ability to access such housing is reflected in the headline progress indicator: low income rental affordability, which is the proportion of housing costs to gross household income for low income renters (both private and public renters). Where this proportion is increasing, it indicates that households are required to spend more of their available income on housing, at the expense of other household costs or savings, and may be expected to result in a decline in overall living standards. In contrast, if the proportion declines, then households will have less financial pressure in meeting their various non-housing costs of living, or saving requirements.

Overall, rental affordability for low income households remained constant over the 10 years to 2007-08 (28% in 1997-98 and 27% in 2007-08). However, there were differences between private renters and public renters. For low income private renter households, housing costs increased by 34%, and gross income rose by 64%, from 1997-98 to 2007-08. As a result, the proportion of housing costs to gross income for private renters declined from 33% in 1997-98 to 28% in 2007-08.

Over the same period, for low income public renter households, housing costs increased by 30% and gross income by 11%. This resulted in the proportion of housing costs to gross income for public renters increasing from 19% to 22%.


  • Housing glossary
  • Housing references

    Previous Page | Next Page