Friday, May 9, 2014

New Minister for Fair Trading

Congratulations to The Hon Matthew Mason-Cox MLC on his appointment this week as NSW Minister for Fair Trading.

Minister Mason-Cox is from Queanbeyan, so he'd know that the lack of affordable rental housing, and the resulting insecurity and worry felt by tenants, are not just Sydney problems.

The chart below shows the incidence of rental stress (that is spending more than 30 per cent of income on rent) for households on very low incomes (that is, incomes less than half the median income), low incomes (incomes 50-80 per cent of the median) and moderate incomes (80-120 per cent of the median) in Queanbeyan, Sydney and all New South Wales.

(Source: Centre for Affordable Housing, Local Government Housing Kit Database (2011 Census). Median income in Sydney result is median income for Sydney; median income in Queanbeyan and New South Wales results is median income for New South Wales. Click on image for a better view.) 

As you can see, almost all very low-income tenants are in rental stress – whether you look at Queanbeyan, Sydney or all New South Wales. Low-income tenants in Queanbeyan are even more likely to be in rental stress (76 per cent) than low-income tenants in Sydney (69 per cent) or all New South Wales (62 per cent). On the other hand, the incidence of rental stress for moderate-income tenants in Queanbeyan (34 per cent) is lower than in Sydney (43 per cent). Still, the fact that one in three moderate-income households is paying more than 30 per cent of their income in rent is a problem – indeed, a worry, and it discourages tenants from asserting their legal rights.

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