Are you one of the 40% under rental stress on the Coast?
NEARLY half of renters on the Fraser Coast are struggling to keep roofs over their heads.
Worrying new data reveals the Fraser Coast is one of the toughest places to live as a renter with high unemployment taking its toll on vulnerable households.
A new rental vulnerability index tool, commissioned by Tenants Queensland, shows the areas where residents were most prone to problems that made their rental housing unaffordable, insecure or inappropriate (see figures below).
Thirteen indicators of rental vulnerability were identified, in two broad categories: 'housing indicators' and 'people indicators'.
Housing indicators include: rental stress, social housing and marginal tenures such as boarding houses and caravan parks while personal indicators considered factors such as unemployment, single-parent households, low education, disability and both young and old renters.
The 4655 (Hervey Bay) postcode has an indicator of 0.958 with 1 being high vulnerability and 0 low.
The 4650 (Maryborough) postcode has a very similar indicator of 0.956.
The Fraser Coast's high rates of unemployment, disability and low education is contributing to rental stress even though median rental prices are considerably less than those in Brisbane.
According to the Bureau of Statistics, 'rent stress' is a term often used to describe households at risk of experiencing difficulty meeting their rental costs.
In Hervey Bay 40.7% of renters are experiencing rental stress.
In Maryborough 33.5% of those renting are finding it difficult to meet rental costs.
Tenants Queensland CEO Penny Carr said the RVI showed many vulnerable households had been pushed out to regional areas in search of cheaper housing but 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.
"The Rental Vulnerability Index will enable Tenants Queensland to better target and better support vulnerable tenants through our free Queensland Statewide Tenant Advice and Referral Service - QSTARS," Ms Carr said.
"The RVI will ... enable us to track trends but at a higher level, it will educate government and broader network of community service providers with an understanding of the social and economic pressures affecting renters."
Hervey Bay at a glance
- Rental dwellings: 7029 (27.1%)
- Median rent: $310 per week
- Number of renters in rent stress: 7395 (40.7%)
- Tenancy disputes: 318 (4.7% of bonds)
- Social dwellings: 809
- Residential services: 0
Who rents in Hervey Bay
- Total tenants: 18268
- Younger tenants: 2733 (15%)
- Older tenants (65+): 1712 (9.4%)
- Unemployed tenants: 19%
- Single parent households: 1601 (23.4%)
- Low education (highest level year 10): 6247 (51.5%)
- Tenants who need assistance: 1470 (8.1%)
- Indigenous tenants: 1224 (6.7%)
- Speak language other than English at home: 1035 (5.7%)
Maryborough at a glance
- Rental dwellings: 3199 (21.6%)
- Median rent: $250 per week
- Number of renters in rent stress: 2673 (33.5%)
- Tenancy disputes: 129 (4.7% of bonds)
- Social dwellings: 633
- Residential services: 49
Who rents in Maryborough
- Total tenants: 7921
- Younger tenants: 1271 (16%)
- Older tenants (65+): 664 (8.4%)
- Unemployed tenants: 18.4%
- Single parent households: 756 (23.9%)
- Low education (highest level year 10): 3032 (57.6%)
- Tenants who need assistance: 720 (9.1%)
- Indigenous tenants: 637 (8%)
- Speak language other than English at home: 287 (3.6%)