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Mar 12, 2013

Report on workers and housing stress released

A fulltime salary is not enough to guarantee affordable housing, according to a report released by Australians for Affordable Housing today. The report, launched by ACTU President Ged Kearney, shows that the housing crisis is hitting working Australians who traditionally would be looking at home ownership.

Home-ownership rates have dropped, and first home-buyer numbers are in decline. This is no surprise, when people who are working can’t afford somewhere to live without going into housing stress.” said Joel Pringle, Campaign Manager for Australians for Affordable Housing.

Defaulting on the Australian dream

This report shows that for some workers, they would have to spend more than half their income either paying rent or the average first home loan in their area. Child care workers, cleaners and hairdressers, in particular, are likely to be spending more than half their income to pay housing costs in their capital city.”

What’s happening to the Australian dream? This report confirms the need for affordable housing close to jobs.”

ACTU President Ged Kearney said that while the report focussed mainly on full-time earnings, hundreds of thousands of workers faced further hurdles to entering the housing market because of insecure work.

Job insecurity naturally leads to income insecurity, and without a reliable income, people are unable to save to put down a deposit on a house,” Ms Kearney said.

A common refrain we have heard from casual workers in particular is that banks simply will not give them a home loan because they do not have a secure income.

This is creating a trap for a generation of Australian workers who are unable to build their life by purchasing a house.

With about 40% of the workforce in casual, labour hire, short-term contracts and other forms of insecure work, this is the beginning of a social and economic crisis that will be discussed at the National Community Summit on creating secure jobs and a better society that the ACTU is hosting in Canberra tomorrow and Thursday.

Unions commend Australians for Affordable Housing for putting together this report, and endorse its recommendations, particularly those which concern improving housing affordability through tax reform.”

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

For enquiries, case studies and interviews contact Joel Pringle, 0427 563 989; to interview Ged Kearney, contact Jane Garcia on 0434 489 533.


Follow AAH on Facebook and Twitter: @housingstressed

  • Rachel

    Something has to be done…..SERIOUSLY

  • Tgr72586

    Part of the problem is the way “affordable”is defined. How can they expect that people will buy new homes when even the cheapest house and land packages are almost $400,000? I would love to buy a new home but even though I have equity in my current home( yes I’m one of the lucky ones who have housing) I simply cannot afford to pay the size of mortgage I would have to pay to get one. My husband died 3 years ago and so I am now paying a mortgage on my own. My mortgage is less than the market rent locally but it is still a struggle. So, I am now looking at trying to downsize from a 4 to a 3 bedroom but hopefully a younger property with a smaller yard and less maintenance. Maybe the first home buyers grant needs to be revisited and maybe change it to a new homes grant which might encourage investment in building. Surely there must be a builder out there somewhere who can develop 3 bedroom housing in the $300,000 price range or less?

  • kim80y

    Perhaps the gov needs to look at “rent assistance’ Currently the government spends more on this than all states combined social housing spending!!!
    “Home assistance” would be much better, for all Australians but include it in payments made to persons but don’t put the “home” label on it, this drives up housing prices and rentals prices as , “the government is giving you the money anyway”
    Persona working in the community welfare area are usually on term contracts, with no job security whatsoever, especially in the banks eyes, which makes it extremely hard to get a loan at all.
    I recently struggled to get a home loan for this reason, despite owning everything I have and a great credit rating.
    Those that are helping the less fortunate are disadvantaged in supporting their own family.


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