Low Income Households in Rental Stress
Children and young people in the ACT who live in low income households in rented dwellings and are in housing stress.
What do we measure?
The number of children and young people aged 0-24 years in the ACT in households in the bottom 40 per cent of the equivalised gross income distribution who live in a rental housing and where rent is at least 30 per cent of gross household income.
Why is this important?
Rental stress is likely to adversely impact on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Members of households in rental stress may experience various forms of deprivation, such as going without meals, missing out on school activities and enforced household mobility. Frequent moves can result in a lack of social cohesion for children and young people.
The ACT Government provides a range of affordable housing options for those who cannot afford to rent or buy without some form of assistance.
The Public Housing Program provides long-term affordable accommodation to more than 10,600 households on low income while the Affordable Rental Office manages and rents a number of properties to older people on a low income at a percentage of market rate to ensure affordability. At 30 June 2018 there were 51 tenancies under this program.
The government also provides two public housing schemes to support eligible tenants purchase their own home. The Sale to Tenant Scheme, for those tenants who have the financial means to purchase their home; and the Shared Equity Scheme, which involves purchasing a percentage of the home along with the Commissioner for Social Housing. The remaining percentage can be purchased over time.
The Rental Bonds Loan Scheme provides an option for those on low to moderate incomes to access and begin renting suitable properties in the private sector. The loans remove one of the major financial barriers to accessing the private market by covering up to 90 per cent of a private rental bond for a new tenancy agreement.
How is the ACT Progressing?
Table 46: Prevalence of children and young people living in low income rental households in rental stress in the ACT, Census 2006, 2011, 2016
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0-24 year olds in rental stress
0-24 years in low income rental households
Source: Census of Population and Housing, Customised Data Report: 2006, 2011, 2016 Census: Persons aged 0-24 years counted at home on Census night in Rented Dwellings by Age, Housing Cost and Equivalised Household Income, for Australian Capital Territory.
Note Households with nil or negative income are excluded. Household income is not stated for 3,194 children and young people in 2006, 3,352 in 2011 and 3,007 in 2016. Households with income falling into the 3rd percentile have been included, as the current Youth Allowance payment amount falls into this percentile. Households in the third percentile were excluded in the previous reporting of A Picture in 2016.
Table 47: Proportion (%) of children and young people living in low income rental households in rental stress in the ACT, Census 2006, 2011, 2016
Source for Tables 48-49: Census of Population and Housing, Customised Data Report: 2006, 2011, 2016 Census: Persons aged 0-24 years counted at home on Census night in Rented Dwellings by Age, Housing Cost and Equivalised Household Income, for Australian Capital Territory.
Note Households with nil or negative income are excluded. Household income is not stated for 3,194 children and young people in 2006, 3,352 in 2011 and 3,007 in 2016. These exclusions were due to the individuals falling within the third percentile (which is $480 per fortnight), which was not deemed to be below the equivalised household income threshold.
There were about 9,382 children and young people living in low-income households in rental housing who are in housing stress in 2016. This number accounted for 41.0 per cent out of all children and young people in low income households in the rental market.
Of the children and young people in low income rental households living in rental stress, 4,313 of these were children aged 0-11 years in 2016 which accounted for 46.0 per cent of total children and young people in low income rental households experiencing rental stress.