ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Analysis of Changes in the Cost of Housing in the ACT

Publication date: 
April 2015

ACTCOSS has released a report tracking the cost of housing, particularly for vulnerable and disadvantaged households in the Australian Capital Territory.

Key Messages

  • ACT Budget needs to include substantial investment to increase supply of affordable housing.
  • Confirms our understanding of the deep problems with affordability, and how it has worsened over time.
  • The wealth in our city both hides and exacerbates unaffordable housing for those households who are not "the average".
  • Explains why with good average incomes we have growing numbers of people unable to cope with the costs of living, evidenced in defaulting on utility bills and increasing demand for emergency assistance especially around food assistance - housing costs are displacing other spending on essential goods and services.
  • Key at risk groups - young people, people who are unemployed or underemployed, people on fixed incomes, women and children leaving violence, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
  • Housing supply recommendations in our Budget Submission need to be funded if ACT is to see any genuine change in numbers of people living in poverty.

Research conducted by ACT Shelter in November 2014 shows:

  • Females are more likely than males to face housing stress.
  • Workers in lower paid jobs are significantly more likely to live in households facing housing stress. In the ACT, the number of workers facing housing stress is predicted to be highest among retail (eg Sales Assistants), hospitality (eg Waiters), community sector (eg Child Carers and Aged and Disabled Carers) and office support (eg General Clerks) workers.