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Rental stress mapped by electorates

Sarah Toohey, Policy & Communications Manager at CHP – Council to Homeless Persons – writes about their analysis of which Victorian electorates are being hardest hit by rental stress.

ABS data recently analysed by CHP shows that 1-in-4 renters in Victoria are low-income households (earning $640/week or less) who are paying more than 30 per cent of their income on rent. Where rental stress is high, homelessness is also high.

We have produced a league table of all 88 electorates to show where rental stress is most severe. Below is the data mapped onto a Victorian electoral maps – click on the maps to download the PDFs. The results further point to the need for an affordable housing strategy such as the one proposed in the ‘Making Social Housing Work’ plan that CHP released with six other peaks including VCOSS.


Housing stress by electorate - Metro


Rental stress by electorate - Regional


The data shows that outer suburban and regional electorates are home to some of the most rent stressed households in Victoria, with Broadmeadows, Thomastown, Dandenong, St Albans, Frankston and Melton amongst the top 10 worst electorates for rental stress.

The data shows that 1-in-3 renters in outer suburban electorates are in housing stress; on a low income ($640 per week or less) and paying more than 30 per cent of their wage on rent.

Victoria’s lack of affordable housing has created a crisis situation for many low-income families.

If you’re earning $640 or less a week, and paying a third of that on rent, you’re in dire straits, and yet this is the case for 120,000 households across Victoria.

People on low incomes move further out to find cheap rent, but find that they’re still paying more than they can afford and are left with only a few dollars spare for groceries and bills. It’s a diabolical situation, causing stress, anxiety and contributing to family breakdown.

Top 10 worst Victorian metro electorates for rental stress
Rank State electorate Number of low income households paying more than 30% of income on rent As a percentage of all renting households
1. Broadmeadows 2030 37%
2. Yuroke (includes suburbs of Craigieburn, Roxburgh Park, Tullarmarine) 927 34%
3. Thomastown 1261 33%
4. Dandenong 2582 32%
5. St Albans 1998 32%
6. Buninyong 1353 31%
7. Frankston 2260 31%
8. Melton 1586 31%
9. Keysborough 1252 30%
10. Lara (includes suburbs of Lara, Corio, Wyndham Vale) 1905 30%