Australian-first dataset informs housing and homelessness

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) released an important housing data dashboard with the Treasury this week. For the first time, the dashboard brings together approximately 7 million data points from across 20 key national housing and homelessness datasets – including the SGS Economics and Planning award-winning Rental Affordability Index data.

SGS Economics and Planning (SGS) Principal and Partner Ellen Witte said the dashboard highlights the severity of unaffordable housing in Australia and reconfirms the housing crisis.

“We are proud to have our rental affordability data included in this dashboard. It's a great resource for anyone wanting to know more about housing affordability. The combined data clearly shows the unaffordable housing issue in Australia. Let’s hope it informs better decision making,” said Ms Witte.

Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services, Luke Howarth MP said the dashboard promotes transparency.

"The Government's investment in establishing the Housing Data Dashboard will create a one stop shop for all levels of government, the community housing sector and the private sector to work together to identify shortfalls and oversupply in order to address housing and homelessness across Australia," Mr Howarth said.

"I've met with many housing providers and homeless organisations who have stressed to me the importance of having access to up to date data. This database is going to fill that void and will enable more transparency within the sector," Mr Howarth said.

The SGS Rental Affordability Index, published with National Shelter, Community Sector Banking, and Brotherhood of St Laurence, is an annual price index relative to household incomes applied to geographic areas across Australia.

The next Rental Affordability Index will be issued in November 2019 and will focus on rental affordability for recipients on the Newstart allowance. The 2018 Rental Affordability Index focused on vulnerable demographics, including single mothers and single males.

The Rental Affordability Index is calculated using the following equation: where ‘qualifying income’ refers to the household income required to pay rent where rent is equal to 30 per cent of income. RAI = (Median income / Qualifying income) x 100.