Office worker struggles to save after paying rent
A STAGGERING number of families are struggling to pay their rent across the Wide Bay, with new figures showing the electorate is ranked 12th nationally for "worst electorates for rental stress”.
The figures released this week by the Everybody's Home industry publication show 5979 households in the Wide Bay suffer from rental stress, with 39 per cent of renters living in housing stress.
Rental stress refers to households who spend 30 percent of their income covering rent and housing stress is where the cost of housing is high relative to household income.
The Wide Bay encompasses Maryborough, Noosa, all of Fraser Island, Gympie and inland areas extending west of Murgon.
Gympie region resident Andrew Springall said he had been renting a place for the past two years at Amamoor and that at times he fell behind with his payments.
"The main problem isn't getting it all covered however, I'm always missing some sort of bill so that I can buy other things like food, or pay for my electricity or phone bill,” Mr Springall said.
He said after he finished paying all of his bills, he usually only had $200 left over which went on entertainment or takeaway food.
The average rental price for Gympie is $280-$300 a week, according to the REIQ.
Rental vacancies for Gympie last year were an incredibly tight 0.5 per cent. More recent rental vacancy data was not yesterday available from the REIQ.
St Vincent de Paul State Housing and Homelessness Committee chairwoman Annette Baker believes the issue is getting worse.
"Newstart allowances and government allowances aren't working; they aren't enough and people are struggling,” Mrs Baker said.
"With the upcoming election, I am surprised that the government hasn't even mentioned anything about homelessness in any of their speeches.”
National Everybody's Home campaign spokeswoman Kate Colvin said the analysis busted the myth that housing affordability was only an issue in inner Sydney and Melbourne.