In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)

In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)
ACT Public Hospitals

Canberra Hospital

5124 0000


Calvary Hospital

6201 6111

Mental Health

Call Mental Health Triage on

1800 629 354

(free call except from mobiles or public phones) or

6205 1065

Poisons Hotline

For a poison emergency in Australia call

131126

Drug and Alcohol Help Line

The Drug and Alcohol Help Line is available 24-hours, 7 days a week on

5124 9977

Health Protection Service

For after hours urgent public health matters including environmental health, radiation safety, food poisoning and communicable disease management phone:

(02) 6205 1700

healthdirect

24 hour health advice

1800 022 222

ACT State Emergency Service

Emergency help
during flood or storms

132 500


Family Income Spent on Housing


Indicator  description

The proportion of the total gross household income in the ACT that is spent on housing related costs.

What do we  measure?

The proportion of gross household income spent on housing related mortgage payments, rates payments (general and water) and rent payments.

Why is this important?

The proportion of gross income spent on housing is an important indicator of wellbeing, as the income left can be used for other essential items such as food, health services, education and transport costs.58

Policy Context

Over the period from 2003-04 to 2015-16, households in the ACT spent 13.0 per cent of their gross income on housing costs on average per annum, while the national result was 14.0 per cent. For ACT public housing tenants, this was higher at 20.0 per cent on average per annum, compared to the national result of 19.0 per cent.

In the Housing Assistance Act 2007,59 the ACT Government committed to maximise the opportunities for everyone in the ACT to have access to housing that is affordable, secure and appropriate to their needs and facilitate the provision of housing assistance for those most in need.

Rental bond assistance in the private market

To support people who are experiencing financial difficulties in establishing a residential tenancy in the private market, the ACT Government offers rental bond assistance through the Rental Bond Assistance Program.60 The program offers people on low to moderate incomes a low-interest loan to pay for their private rental bonds.

Public Housing Assistance

The ACT Government offers long-term rental accommodation for people on low to moderate incomes. Tenants of Housing ACT pay 25.0 per cent of their income in rent, or the market rent for that particular property, whichever is lower.

The ACT Government also provides financial support to public housing tenants, through the Rental Rebate Policy. Rental rebates are provided to those on low to moderate incomes to ensure households pays no more than 25.0 per cent of combined assessable household income in rent.61 The rental rebate is the difference between market rent and the maximum rent a tenant is required to pay.

Home ownership for public tenants

The ACT Government's Shared Equity Scheme provides an alternative home ownership opportunity for public housing tenants. The scheme encourages lower to moderate income earning public tenants to consider home purchase. The scheme provides eligible tenants the opportunity to purchase 70.0 per cent of their Housing ACT property, with IMB Bank providing finance. The remaining 30.0 per cent equity of the property remains with Housing ACT. The purchaser agrees to progressively purchase this equity from Housing ACT over a maximum 15-year period.

How is the ACT Progressing?

Table 45: Housing costs as a proportion (%) of gross household income by household characteristics, ACT and Australia, 2002-03 to 2015-16

  

2002-
2003

2003-
2004

2005-
2006

2007-
2008

2009-
2010

2011-
2012

2013-
2014

2015-
2016

ACT

Owner without a mortgage

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

3

Owner with a mortgage

15

18

17

18

16

16

16

15

Renter (state/territory housing authority)

17

24

20

22

18

19

21

19*

Total renters

18

19

17

16

18

19

20

20

Total

12

13

13

13

13

14

13

13

Australia

Owner without a mortgage

3

3

3

2

3

3

3

3

Owner with a mortgage

17

18

19

18

18

18

16

16

Renter (state/territory housing authority)

18

19

18

19

19

19

21

21

Total renters

19

18

19

18

20

20

20

20

 

Total

13

14

14

13

14

14

14

14

Source: ABS cat. No. 4130.0; Table 1.2, Table 21.2.

Note Data have been randomly adjusted (by perturbation) to avoid the release of confidential data. Discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals. * The estimate of proportion of spending on housing by renters of public housing in the ACT of 19.0 per cent in 2015-16 has a relative standard error of 25.0 per cent to 50.0 per cent and should be used with caution.

Households in the ACT spent 13.0 per cent of their total gross income on housing costs in 2015-16, unchanged from 2013-14. This is lower than the national average of 14.0 per cent, unchanged from 2009-10.

In 2015-16, home owners with a mortgage spent 15.0 per cent of their gross income on housing costs in the ACT, a one percentage point decrease from 2013-14. This is lower than the national average of 16.0 per cent, unchanged from 2013-14.

Home owners without a mortgage spent the lowest proportion of their gross income on housing costs, at 3.0 per cent in the ACT, a one percentage point increase from 2013-14. Nationally, the proportion was also 3.0 per cent, unchanged from 2009-10.

ACT public housing tenants spent 19.0 per cent of their income on housing costs in 2015-16, a decrease of two percentage points from 2013-14. Nationally, public housing tenants spent 21.0 per cent of their income on housing costs, unchanged from 2013-14.

Renters in the ACT and nationally spent 20.0 per cent of their gross income on housing costs in 2015-16. These proportions have not changed since 2013-14 in the ACT and since 2009-10 nationally.

58 ACT Government 2016, A Picture of Children and Young People in the ACT 2016
59 ACT Legislation Register, Housing Assistance Act 2007
60 Housing Assistance Rental Bonds Housing Assistance Program 2017 (No 1) 
61 Rental Rebate Policy