Dunsborough most unaffordable place to rent in South West for low income earners

A recent report has revealed that a household income of $90,000 per annum would not be able to afford a rental property in Dunsborough.

The Rental Affordability Index revealed that Dunsborough is one of the least affordable towns in the South West.

The latest release of the Rental Affordability Index revealed even households earning up to $70,000 per annum would find rents unaffordable in areas such as Busselton and Mandurah.

The index found for the average regional WA household income, the South West was affordable with Margaret River, Collie, and Esperance being the most affordable areas.

This was due to a combination of relatively high household incomes and a steep decrease in rents since the end of the mining boom

However, rents are extremely unaffordable for lower income households such as Newstart recipients and those reliant on the pension.

For example, a NewStart recipient or pensioner couple in Dunsborough would need to pay around 100 per cent or 50 per cent of their available income on rent respectively.

People on Newstart are spending 100 per cent of their income on rent, leaving little to no money for necessities such as food, medical care and other needs.

The index showed that in most states, people living in the capital city and renting earn more than their country counterparts, but not so in WA.

The median rental household in Greater Perth has a gross income of $85,900 per annum while the median rental household in regional WA has a gross income of $91,800 per annum.

In terms of rental affordability, regional WA has a score of 157 on the index.

The index found affordability in regional WA has grown steadily recently but fluctuations from 2017-2019, suggest the growth in affordability has plateaued.

The average household seeking to rent in regional WA would be facing rent levels at around 19 per cent of its income, which is considered to be acceptable.

National Shelter executive officer Adrian Pisarski said higher average incomes made it even more unaffordable for low income households.

"In the WA mining regions, even those earning up to $85,000 face unaffordable rentals," he said.

Shelter WA chief executive officer said as a society we have created an awful reality for many people.

"The lack of social and affordable housing in WA means many Newstart recipients are often marginally housed, or in unsafe and unsuitable housing.

"We have a created a society where people, just because they are poor, are at risk of hunger, stress and poorer health. The lack of affordable housing is creating homelessness."