Wednesday, June 1

Affordable Housing

What is affordable housing?

According to Wikipedia "Affordable housing is housing deemed affordable to those with a median household income[1] as rated by country, State (province), region or municipality by a recognized Housing Affordability Index. In Australia, the National Affordable Housing Summit Group developed their definition of affordable housing as housing that is, "...reasonably adequate in standard and location for lower or middle income households and does not cost so much that a household is unlikely to be able to meet other basic needs on a sustainable basis."

One of the many problems in Australia at the moment is that housing is anything but affordable, especially for those on "lower or middle income".

Many of the senior single women I speak to - I am particularly interested in that cohort - earn around $794 per fortnight if they are on the "Aged Pension" - and for many their home rental is around $600 per fortnight.

This article gives some insights into the rental market.  Most properties on the rental market are three bedroom houses or units.

One or two bedroom units are marginally less than the cost of renting a 3 bedroom house.  My search for 1 and 2 bedroom homes on realestate.com reveals very few one or two bedroom properties. 

Blackall (almost 1000 kms from Brisbane), Collinsville, South Gladstone, Charleville, Clinton (near Gladstone) are around the $85 to $130 per week mark, but for me it is too far from my small family, (though I like the Clinton house!)

Almost all homes for rent at $200 or less are in areas some distance from Brisbane.  Perhaps if I was younger I would go - but it can be very lonely if you are long distance from family.

Even 100 kms from the city rents are high, and at 300 kms from Brisbane, there are some around the $250 mark.  If I was younger and fitter, perhaps I might consider it, but it is hard to move so far away from the city and the family.

One of the issues with single solo women is loneliness and lack of family support (often).  Another is security - which is more complex when one lives away from family and friends.

For example, if I was to move away from where I am now (which still is some distance from my daughter and son) it would be very challenging for them if something happened to me.  

To save $60 per week rent, it would probably cost me $3000 in moving costs, so it would take about a year to recover those costs.  Is it worth moving?  I am not sure. 
  
The reality is that there needs to be more low cost housing, and perhaps incentives to encourage people to take up accommodation in the areas where there is ample low cost housing - though I note that most of that is in places where business/mines have closed and employment opportunities are limited.

It is a challenge.




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