Rental affordability crashes in regional areas

media release

A new snapshot survey from the Anglicare Australia network shows rental affordability has crashed in regional areas, including Tasmania.

Governments are being urged to tackle the chronic nation-wide shortage of affordable housing, as the latest Rental Affordability Snapshot highlights the dire circumstances for low income households.

In Tasmania, only 729 properties were listed for rent on the Snapshot weekend – a 43% drop on last year’s figure. The average statewide rental price per week was $425, which was unaffordable for people on low incomes.

“The shortage of supply is driving up prices and entrenching disadvantage for many Tasmanians including young people, single parents, minimum wage earners, older people and job seekers,” said Anglicare Tasmania CEO Chris Jones.

“There was a 15% rental price increase in the North and 18% in the North West on last year’s figures,” he said. “There’s been heavy competition that keeps more people on middle-incomes in the private rental market for longer, squeezing out those on low incomes who face long waiting lists for public and social housing”.

The Snapshot found only 16 rentals across the State that were affordable and appropriate for a couple on the Age Pension, while a single person on Age or Disability income supports could afford little unless they were willing to live in a sharehouse.  A single person on Jobseeker could afford just three of the 106 sharehouse places on offer and, as has been the case since 2016, there were no rentals affordable for a person on Youth Allowance.


Urgent investment in public and social housing needed

“For many Tasmanians, public and social housing is the only affordable accommodation option, but even high priority applicants are waiting an average of 54 weeks to be housed,” said Chris.

“The data we’ve seen from Homelessness Australia suggests that Tasmania needs an estimated 11,400 new social housing properties, which is way above the targets outlined by government.

Tasmania needs a comprehensive Housing Strategy and 10% of all new builds need to be affordable social housing. Without strategic action, we will see more hardship as families struggle to avoid homelessness, and endure significant financial stress.

Anglicare Australia called on the Federal Government to take action in the next Budget to ensure everyone has a place to call home.

“The current housing shortfall is massive. We need 500,000 new social and affordable rentals across Australia,” said Kasy Chambers, Anglicare Australia Executive Director. “There aren’t enough affordable homes in any region. Country areas are becoming just as bad as the cities.

“Each year we think the market can’t get any worse. And each year, we’re shocked to see that it can. That’s why we need to lift Jobseeker and other payments above the poverty line. If we don’t, people out of work will be pushed deeper into housing stress and even homelessness.”


Tasmanian figures at a glance, region by region


  • 433 properties were available on the Snapshot weekend. The average asking price in the South was $467 per week, which was out of reach of all low income household types.


  • 209 properties available, just over half the number in 2020. The average asking price was $391 per week, which was unaffordable for all income support households and many minimum wage households.

North West:

  • 87 properties available, a reduction of nearly 40% from last year. While the average weekly price, $294, was significantly lower than in other regions, the extreme lack of supply was likely to result in intense competition.


Further information

The Tasmanian Rental Affordability Snapshot is available here. It includes case studies from around the State: real people, who have had their names changed to protect their privacy.

Anglicare Tasmania operates the Housing Connect service in the North and North West.

Anglicare Australia’s media release and the national Rental Affordability Snapshot are available here.



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