Gladstone has high 'rental vulnerability'
DESPITE cheap rents in Gladstone, the region is in the top 10 areas of Queensland for "rental vulnerability”.
Tenants Queensland and City Futures Research Centre released the Rental Vulnerability Index (RVI), as an indicator of rental vulnerability relative to social and economic pressures affecting Queensland renters.
Gladstone was the sixth highest local government area in terms of risk.
The data shows over the last five years, the proportion of older renters (over 65) has generally increased, with the highest proportions located in the regions.
Tenants Queensland chief executive officer Penny Carr said some of the movement in rankings related to small fluctuations in populations and several postcode boundary changes.
She said the data highlighted that regional and remote parts of Queensland continue to indicate areas of highest rental vulnerability.
"This index is a timely reminder at the beginning of a new year that the elderly and low- income families in regional areas are struggling to pay their rent,” Ms Carr said.
"The data is telling us that regional areas have a pressing need for services - such as tenant advice services - that give vulnerable households material assistance in dealing with housing problems.
"These places have high rates of unemployment, disability, low education and older people in rental housing.”
Ms Carr these areas had high incidences of "rental stress” although median rents were low compared to Brisbane.
University of New South Wales City Futures Research Centre Chief Investigator Dr Laurence Troy said there was a large body of research on the "suburbanisation of disadvantage”.
"This is the phenomenon of high housing costs pushing out and shutting out, low-income and otherwise disadvantaged households from city centres,” Dr Troy said.
"The RVI indicates that in Queensland this process is extending into a 'regionalisation of disadvantage'.
"We need to build up the economic and social capital of these places - so that they offer greater opportunities for the vulnerable households who are concentrated there - just as we need policies to increase affordable housing opportunities in our cities and regions.”
QUEENSLAND'S TOP 10 MOST VULNERABLE RENTAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS
2. South Burnett
3. Moreton Bay
4. Fraser Coast
8. Southern Downs