The 3 towns you can't afford to live in anymore
THREE Local Government Areas on the Northern Rivers have been listed as the least affordable to rent in regional New South Wales.
On Tuesday The Affordable Housing Income Gap (AHIG) report published by Compass Housing Services, showed Byron, Ballina and Tweed listed as number one, two and four respectively as the least affordable LGAs in regional New South Wales.
According to the report, the median rent of a property in Ballina was $450 per week and the income level needed to avoid housing stress was more than three times this amount at $1500.
However, as the actual median household income was $1022, there's a shortfall of $478, leading to acute housing stress.
Compass Housing Services Knowledge manager and Emeritus Professor, University of South Wales, David Adamson OBE, said the identification of a housing affordability gap quantifies how the lack of affordable rental properties was impacting low, and increasingly middle-income families.
Prof Adamson said the report's analysis showed this wasn't simply an experience of the few but that occupations often seen as middle-class and well paid are increasingly experiencing housing stress in order to live close to their place of work.
"Understanding the extent of the Housing Affordability Gap illustrates the experience of household stress," he said.
"In each of the these localities we can identify parents who worry constantly about debt and eviction (and) we see the degradation of family life, diet, health and well-being."
Prof Adamson said the situation was dire as children are not able to fully engage with school and the range of opportunities for enrichment it provides.
"All these can result from housing stress where disproportionate levels of income are expended on maintaining a roof over the heads of the family," he said.
"Resolving the housing crisis can benefit all of Australia and provide a more equal and fair society (and) a National Housing Strategy that delivers investment in more social and affordable homes for rent is an essential element in addressing the housing crisis."
According to Realestate.com.au, on Tuesday August 21, there were 76 residential properties available for rent in the Ballina LGA, with prices ranging from $240 per week for a two bedroom, one bathroom unit in Alstonville, up to $1200 per week for a fully-furnished seven bedroom, four bathroom and two living area residence at Meerschaum Vale.
Northern Rivers AHIG breakdown
LGA / Median Rent (All Dwellings) / Income required to avoid housing stress / Median household income percentage required to pay median rent / AHIG
Byron / $590 / $1967 / $1218 /48 per cent / $749
Ballina / $450 / $1500 / $1022 / 44 per cent / $478
Clarence Valley (Grafton) / $350 / $1167 / $907 / 39 per cent / $260
Tweed Shire / $430 / $1433 / $1182 / 36 per cent / $251