Gladstone a hotspot for renters on government support
GLADSTONE is one of the most affordable places in Australia to live for people on the dole or minimum wage, a new report has confirmed.
Anglicare's rental affordability snapshot for 2017 revealed central Queensland had 483 affordable properties for people on government payments and 709 were cheap enough for people on the minimum wage.
But it warned the region still needed more affordable accommodation as the number of people living on government support rises.
"Compared to 2016, central Queensland has seen an increase in the number of households on income support payments, which is likely due to a downturn in the region's mining industry with flow-on effects to local businesses and therefore increased unemployment," it reads.
"There is a particular need for an increase in the number of homes especially for single people who are reliant on government income."
On April 1, 2017 there were 1421 private properties advertised for rent in central Queensland.
The report found the number of affordable homes dropped by 362 in 12 months.
"This may reflect a removal of properties from the rental market as part of population changes in response to the decline in the local economy," it said.
"Local results show that the decline in local economic circumstances has not increased the amount of affordable and appropriate accommodations; particularly for those reliant on government incomes."
READ MORE | Gladstone's housing market
The report analysed the 67,000 properties available to rent in Australia over the weekend of April 1-2.
Prices were considered affordable if they take up less than 30% of the household's income.
The findings were dire for our north Queensland neighbours, with just 56 properties considered affordable for people receiving income support.
For those on the minimum wage there were 209 affordable properties in north Queensland.
"Overall there is more affordable and appropriate rental accommodation for people on low incomes in regional Australia, and this is particularly the case for people on the minimum wage," it said.
"However people on government incomes, particularly young people on Youth Allowance find there is nowhere in the country affordable for them.
"Single parents on Newstart and singles on the Disability Support Pension also face severely limited options for affordable and suitable accommodation in regional Australia."
Median rent prices per week for Gladstone suburbs as of April 28, 2017:
Gladstone Central: $200 per week
West Gladstone: $180
Tannum Sands: $270
Boyne Island: 240
New Auckland: $230
South Gladstone: $200