Page 1600 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022
know that there is an increasing need for social and affordable community housing in the ACT as home ownership and private rentals are more unaffordable than ever before and this impacts the most on those with the lowest incomes.
Over the decade from 2007-08 to 2017-18, housing costs as a proportion of gross household income for those in the lowest quintile, the lowest 20 per cent of household incomes in the ACT, rose from 23.5 per cent of their income to 35 per cent. For those in the second quintile, housing costs rose from 19.9 per cent of their income to 24.2 per cent. But for those in the top 20 per cent of household incomes in the ACT, housing costs as a proportion of gross household income actually dropped from 10.9 per cent to 8.3 per cent of their income.
A significant factor in this shift—and I hope that Mr Parton is still listening, because I know I just dropped a lot of data there and that can make people feel a little bit sleepy—has been the impact on the property market of many years of negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts, which encourage speculative property investment at a time when many aspirational first home buyers are just looking for a home to live in.
From 2007-08 to 2017-18, the percentage of Australian households who owned their own home dropped from 70.8 per cent to 63.8 per cent, and the percentage of households living in state or territory-owned public housing dropped from 8½ per cent to 6.8 per cent, while the percentage in private rental housing rose from 17.3 to 26.1 per cent. In addition, the proportion of dwellings in the ACT that were community housing remained unchanged over that period, at 0.4 per cent of all properties in the ACT. So increasing investment in community housing will also help to increase affordable housing supply.
Keep in mind the rise in housing costs as a proportion of gross household income that I was just talking about for the lowest 40 per cent of household incomes. What I am talking about here are the people in our community who can least afford to compete in the private rental market having to do just that. This also has a gendered impact, and I am talking about single women with children.
The 2016 census showed that there were 3,477 single women with children in low income households, with an equivalent household income of $500 per week or less, in the ACT. In addition, 46.4 per cent of women and girls living in middle income households—that is, with an equivalent household income of $52,000 to $103,999 per year in the ACT—are reliant on the income of a partner or parent for their middle income status. This is part of the reason why a 2014 report from the Domestic Violence Crisis Service found that 54.6 per cent of women with home ownership and 62½ per cent of women renting lose their homes within a year of separation.
For many women who are sole parents on low incomes, housing choices are almost non-existent because, as the Anglicare rental affordability index tells us year after year, the private rental market has nothing they can afford. This is why we are seeing an increase in the concentration of low income households in areas that are further away from employment opportunities, education, health and other services or social