REVEALED: Hervey Bay renters struggle to pay bills
RENTERS living in Hervey Bay are draining more than a third of their wage on accommodation adding to the financial struggles of families, a new report shows.
The Affordable Housing Income Gap Report, released by Compass Housing, reveals that Hervey Bay is one of just a few areas in Queensland where renting households are facing housing stress.
An area is deemed to have housing stress when at least 30 per cent of a medium household wage goes towards paying rent.
Maryborough has just escaped falling into the category, with renting households spending on average 29 per cent of their wage on rent.
Though renting on the Fraser Coast is cheaper than in many other places in the state, so too are median wages.
The margin puts the town behind only Noosa and ahead of the Gold Coast.
The median weekly income in Hervey Bay is $1002 while the median weekly rent is $320.
That means local households need an extra $65 a week in their pay packets to spend less than 30 per cent of their wage on rent.
Maryborough is on the cusp of being unaffordable because despite the median rent being $250, the median weekly income of renters is $859, significantly below average.
The report, released earlier this week, found that housing in Queensland's regional centres was otherwise generally affordable for median income households.
Compass Housing spokesman Martin Kennedy said the findings indicated housing stress was not just a problem for low-income households.
He said there were a number of contributing factors.
"Even working people are struggling to afford suitable rental properties," Mr Kennedy said.
"This can have a real impact on living standards because people in housing stress are less able to pay for other essentials like food, utilities, insurance, healthcare, childcare, and debt repayments.
"The steady decline of housing affordability for renters is part of a broader housing crisis driven by a combination of low interest rates, preferential tax treatment for investors, rapid population growth, artificial rationing of land supply, high transfer duties and, a prolonged failure to invest in social and affordable housing."