Brett Wortman

Qld has highest housing stress among workers in the country

QUEENSLAND'S housing crisis is so acute people in occupations normally considered to be well-paid are affected by housing stress.

A report released this week by Australians for Affordable Housing found child carers, hospitality workers and hairdressers were among the occupations most affected by housing stress.

Defaulting on the Australian Dream, which focused on single-income households, compared the average income for a range of jobs against housing costs in each state.

The occupations were selected using Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

People at the bottom 40% of incomes who are handing over more than 30% of their pay for rent or a mortgage are considered by AAH to be under housing stress.

The report painted a grim picture for Queensland, which was found to have the highest housing stress among workers in the country.

It found none of the workers in the 16 listed occupations could afford a first home loan without spending more than 30% of their income on mortgage repayments, including people working in law.

"Queensland was the only state or territory where legal professionals could not afford to make repayments on the average first home loan without experiencing housing stress," the report read.

But the report found legal professionals in Queensland could afford the median rent for units and houses without going in to housing stress, the research found.

Further, people in this category were the only ones who could afford Brisbane's median unit rent without experiencing housing stress.

Brisbane, with eight, had the highest number of occupations of the nation's capital cities in which 50% of average incomes would be consumed by median rent for a house.

For most occupations in Brisbane more than half of the average income was absorbed by the median rent for a unit.

The research deliberately focused on single-income households, of which there were almost 2.5 million in 2011.

"Single-income households are often forgotten in the housing affordability debate, and also serves to highlight the risks faced by dual-income households if one partner loses employment," the report read.

AAH is a coalition of national housing, welfare and community sector organisations, established to highlight the problem of housing affordability in Australia.

In August last year it released a five-year, four-point plan for improving housing affordability.

View the report here.