Kyabram Free Press

Kyabram is unaffordable for renters, report says

By James Bennett

KYABRAM and Tatura are are unaffordable for renters that earn the median household weekly income of $734, according to the Rental Affordability Index.

It says Shepparton, Tatura and Kyabram are ‘unaffordable’, while Mooroopna and Kialla are listed as ‘severely unaffordable'.

High rental prices for lower income earners are a worrying sign for the Shepparton homelessness crisis.

BeyondHousing Chief executive Celia Adams said renting in regional areas was becoming increasingly competitive.

“This is a concern because this has a significant impact on people who have a low, fixed income such as Newstart and aged pensions,” she said.

“This leads to more people vying for the affordable rental properties.

“The outcome of this competition can be that those in the lowest income brackets are pushed down or out of the market and those on moderate incomes are paying more than they can afford for rent.

Ms Adams said building more affordable housing could ease pressure.

She said better government investments and strategies were needed, including better incentives for private investors and new planning requirements to deliver affordable housing.

Ms Adams said the responsibility did not lie with landlords to help solve renters’ problems.

“We can’t and shouldn’t speak for landlords; however, suggesting that private investors are responsible for solving the affordable housing issue detracts from the other ways housing affordability can be addressed,” she said.

“These include change in government policy, the development of a national strategy, taxation regulation and incentives for private investors and housing associations to deliver more affordable housing.”

The Rental Affordability Index said a Kyabram household must earn at least $55,000 before rental prices were considered ‘acceptable'.

However, rents were only ‘acceptable’ for a Kialla household if income was at least $75,000.