- On January 24, 2017
- In Uncategorised
The Productivity Commission’s “Report on Government Services 2017” was released today. The report aims to compare the performance of governments in the efficient and effective delivery of a wide range of services aimed at improving the well being of all Australians.
Volume G of the report concerns Housing and homelessness and contains a great deal of information in relation to government expenditure on housing and homelessness as well as information on the social housing system and the well being of recipients of government assistance to meet their housing needs.
The report shows that the community housing industry continues to grow in Australia. The sector has increased in size by 9% since 2014-15 from 73,620 dwellings to 80,225 dwellings. The net number of public housing dwellings in the nation’s public housing system continues to decline. This suggests that property transfers of public housing dwellings to community housing providers goes some way to explaining the growth of community housing.
CRA bill up 20% in response to increased rental stress
Another key finding is the fact that the cost of Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) payments have increased by almost 20% from 2011-12 to 2015-16. The total cost to the Federal government of CRA payments in that year was $4.4 billion dollars. The average government CRA expenditure per eligible income unit was $3,251 in 2015-16.
Nationally in June 2016, there were 1,345,983 income units receiving CRA. Of these, 79.4 per cent paid enough rent to be eligible to receive the maximum rate of CRA (an increase from 75 per cent in 2012). The median CRA payment at June 2016 was $130 per fortnight, with median rent being $437 per fortnight.
The increased CRA bill is indicative of rents rising faster than the incomes of CRA eligible households. Nationally in June 2016, 68.2 per cent of CRA income units would have paid more than 30 per cent of their gross income on rent if CRA were not provided – with CRA this proportion was 41.2 per cent. The proportion of low income renter households in rental stress increased from 35.4 per cent in 2007-08 to 42.5 per cent in 2013-14.
The report paints a mixed picture in terms of prices in the private rental market. Median market rents have increased steadily since 2012 in Melbourne and Sydney. Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra have seen rents increase albeit those increases have been more modest. Market rents have fallen in both Perth and Darwin since 2012.
The full report including attachments can be downloaded here