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May 29, 2012

Territory under housing stress: new research reveals NT’s most stressed locations

Australians for Affordable Housing (AAH) is calling on Territorians to join the campaign for more affordable housing as it launches in Darwin today, with research revealing that almost 3,700 renters and home purchasers in the city struggle with high housing costs.

Launching the housing stress league table, AAH Campaign Manager Sarah Toohey said that Darwin, Palmerston and Alice Springs had the highest numbers of households in housing stress, with almost 6800 households on a low income paying more than 30 per cent of their income on rents or mortgages.

“While Coomalie has the highest rates of housing stress with 17 per cent of the population struggling with rents or mortgages, it has a smaller population than areas like Darwin and Palmerston, where rates of housing stress are 13 and 15 per cent respectively” said Ms Toohey.

“Things are much worse for people in the rental market where 20 per cent of renters in Darwin and Palmerston are in housing stress, and 23 per cent for Alice Springs”.

“When people are in housing stress, on a low income and paying more than 30 per cent of their income on housing costs, they have very little left over to cover other basic costs like food, transport, bills or money for emergencies”.

“House prices and rents in Darwin are continuing to rise, and with new mining developments that will only get worse”.

“Darwin’s new affordable housing company, Venture Housing, is a good start, but they can’t fix the territories housing problems alone. We need both the Territory Government and the Commonwealth to be working together to fix our housing system”

“Australians for Affordable Housing is urging Territorians to join the campaign and encourage Governments to address the housing crisis”.

Australians for Affordable Housing is a coalition of national housing, welfare and community sector organisations to highlight the problem of housing affordability in Australia. For more information visit

Housing stress – Australians for Affordable Housing local council league table*

Overall Housing Stress Mortgage Stress Private Rent Stress
LGA Name % Number of households % Number of households % Number of households
Coomalie 17 81 20 39 38 18
Palmerston 15 1606 11 613 20 613
Victoria-Daly 15 19 11 3 26 13
Katherine 14 513 12 113 15 206
Barkly 14 173 16 41 22 95
14 20 27 20 0 0
14 1487 11 484 23 760
Darwin 13 3699 9 944 20 1943
Litchfield 12 732 13 451 31 234
Wagait 8 13 12 10    

*This league table provides for comparison of small local areas and is based on modelled census numbers. These are not directly comparable with recently published housing stress modelling on ABS Survey of Income and Housing data.

Media contact: Sarah Toohey, 0427 563 989.

Follow AAH on Facebook and Twitter: @housingstressed

  • Investor2009

    30% of income is considered ‘rental stress’.. Well I’m in dire mortgage stress!! 80% of my income goes toward my own home and other property I managed to collect over the past couple of years. I can’t afford many (even small) things for myself, but thats because my reality is different to most others. If you think you are hard done by, then, you are. I am doing it tough right now, but will be financially indipendant within a 5 year timeline, byt the time my Wife and I are 37 and we very much look forward to taking a step back, not having to work so much.

    My tip: Buy a couple of property investment books, there are some good ones out there and anyone can do it. I’m a low income earner, as is my Wife, but why is it WE can afford this stuff? Hmmm. Thats something to think about isn’t it. Buy a book, read it and learn how it’s done. Then do it yourself. And stop buying junk!! You’ll never afford property living like a King. So unless you are, you’re doing it wrong.

  • Sarah

    Hi Investor 2009.

    When we talk about ‘housing stress’ we’re using the definition of the households on the the lowest 40% of incomes, paying more than 30% of thier income on housing costs. So we’re not talking about blanket 30% for everybody – households on higher incomes can often afford to pay more, but for household on low incomes, it becoems very hard to make ends meet for the other basics when they’re payaing that much for housing.

  • valerie woodruffe

    I agree, if this stress is passed from mother to son it will be very detrimental to my son’s career.

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