18th May 2017

Rising city rental costs are forcing pensioners to move

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Rising city rental costs are forcing pensioners to move
Drew Patchell

According to new research from National Shelter’s latest Rental Affordability Index, rising rent prices within Australian cities are forcing Australian pensioners to reconsider where they live.

Single pensioners are having to pay more than 60 per cent of their income to rent within, or close to, the city centre, while couples are having to spend between 38 per cent and 68 per cent of their income.

“Too often we hear stories of age pensioners who are left to choose between using the last of their income to buy food or medication once they have met their obligations for rent and utilities,” said Ian Yates, COTA Australia Chief Executive.

“While we have welcomed the initiatives announced in the recent Federal Budget to alleviate some of the pressure, such as greater investment in community housing, and incentives to increase supply, more needs to be done to support struggling pensioners," he said



If rental price trends continue within the inner suburbs, it’s only a matter of time before pensioners renting in these areas are forced to leave suburbs that they have called home for decades. The disruption and distress caused by this sudden change of environment and the move away from friendship and support networks could be devastating to their everyday lives.

Are you currently living on a pension and renting within an Australian city? Are you finding it difficult to pay the rent and your other everyday expenses? Are you considering moving to cheaper accommodation in order to make ends meet?

View the Rental Affordability Index interactive map
Read more at sgsep.com.au
Read more at professionalplanner.com.au
Read more at afr.com

Related articles:
Can I claim rental assistance?
Off-setting rental income





COMMENTS

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Bribri
18th May 2017
10:27am
It is true. I myself looking for a cheaper place. As its not possible to afford the place where I am in at the moment. I might have breakfast twice a week, I do not have lunch and for tea I might have a roll with with salsa or something like that otherwise one of those food boxes you can get for $2.98 to $3.40 as everything has gone up. Pension might have gone up $12.80 and that is with rent assistance. But everyting else like rent,electricity,gas and water +groceries and medication it is getting more and more impossible to survive. Maybe the government should think of buying some blocks of land or old caravan parks and build some housing for the elderlies....It is worth thinking about....Thank you....
MICK
18th May 2017
4:54pm
The article is a bit short on detail Bribri.
It's not just rents, which have not risen much over the past 2 years unless I am in the wrong location in Sydney. It is the addition of all the other costs.
We have only recently returned from an extended stay in France and the first thing that hit us was the increase in the cost of food. Not just one item but many and not just a couple of percent but in excess of 10%.
Then add on rates and 'special levies' which are added on top of rates, government charges, cost of contractors, and so many other smaller items.
The issue is not just housing. It is that Australians are being short changes whilst their wages and returns on retirement investments go nowhere. These things hit 90% of Australians but the top has been powering ahead with salary increases so do not feel the pain.

I think you need to reconsider what is happening Drew. Certainly renters are doing it tough but owner occupiers are also struggling. And then we have a government coming after retirees and wanting then to sell and live off the proceeds, the mindset of rich man's governments. Let's give the rich a tax cut on top of that too......
buby
21st Jun 2017
1:40pm
yes they should Bribri, i was saying that a long time ago. but they stopped building them for the elderly, which to me shows they don't give a bugger about us!
Of course they have sold off all the utilities, all the prices are UP because of this, most of everything is Sub leased, and we are making up for the money needed to pay everything off, making us worse off.
then Telstra too ripping us off. and they have gone off shore, I don't even make ONE call on the telstra line, but they have the cheek to charge me a good 25 bucks every month?
what gives ?
buby
21st Jun 2017
1:46pm
Mick i don't know why they are charging us more for food, its mostly coming in from overseas, or so i'm told, and this was supposed to make it cheaper i thought.
NO i'm sure they are feeling the pinch the world over, but the top end are doing it fine.
NO decent places for singles to live in, and the rents gone UP on all the dumps, and they are only building for youngsters, you know you have to climb the stairs to the bedroom, bad luck if you can't climb the stairs anymore hey!
And now they putting more ppl in for the big block of land they used to sell once upon a time. IT really sucks. And if you want to go live in the country, Well here's a surprise for you, cause they putting UP rents in the country too. And only if your a family can you get a decent place to live in. ITs all gone to POT!
YEH NOT impressed really
And perhaps the REal estate MOgrels have something to do with that yeh?
buby
21st Jun 2017
1:46pm
Mick i don't know why they are charging us more for food, its mostly coming in from overseas, or so i'm told, and this was supposed to make it cheaper i thought.
NO i'm sure they are feeling the pinch the world over, but the top end are doing it fine.
NO decent places for singles to live in, and the rents gone UP on all the dumps, and they are only building for youngsters, you know you have to climb the stairs to the bedroom, bad luck if you can't climb the stairs anymore hey!
And now they putting more ppl in for the big block of land they used to sell once upon a time. IT really sucks. And if you want to go live in the country, Well here's a surprise for you, cause they putting UP rents in the country too. And only if your a family can you get a decent place to live in. ITs all gone to POT!
YEH NOT impressed really
And perhaps the REal estate MOgrels have something to do with that yeh?
Charlie
18th May 2017
10:46am
Sire the pheasants have no bread
Don't worry we give them our "initiatives" and "incentives" to eat.
MICK
18th May 2017
4:56pm
"Let them eat cake".
Dreamer
18th May 2017
10:54am
I gave up the notion of being able to afford rents in Sydney long before I retired. Now I am really enjoying a northerly Sea Change with occasional cultural forays back into the big smoke, increasingly by train and bus. Time is my friend now.
Dreamer
18th May 2017
10:54am
I gave up the notion of being able to afford rents in Sydney long before I retired. Now I am really enjoying a northerly Sea Change with occasional cultural forays back into the big smoke, increasingly by train and bus. Time is my friend now.
MICK
18th May 2017
4:58pm
Good on you. Well done. You don't always need to live in a major city for a quality lifestyle.
We have often though along these lines but being fortunate enough to have a dream location how do we every get this again? So we stay put.
Chris_58
18th May 2017
11:27am
At present I share rental accomodation with my son. I would not be able to rent this place otherwise. In a year or so he is off and I will be on my own. I have no idea how I will be able to afford rent. It is a very daunting thought - one that scares the crap out of me...............
buby
21st Jun 2017
1:47pm
Don't be telling too many that Chris somebody might get a wiff of that and take advantage of ya
AussieTuca
18th May 2017
11:29am
Currently I live in a suburb about 50k from Melbourne or 1hr in average by train when they run OK. I still drive however it is becoming more and more hard to spend hours driving. Painful, literally. I still pay a reasonable rent but I am afraid that I will have to move away very soon.

I do not feel I am living in a "lucky country" anymore...
Rosret
18th May 2017
11:59am
Exactly. I hear you.
Rosret
18th May 2017
11:58am
I live 160 Km from Sydney and a 3 bedroom house rental is $700 p.w. - good luck with that escape.
Probably best to head north to Qld or south to Tasmania. Too bad about family and friends.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
12:03pm
I'm fortunate enough to live far enough out of Sydney to make renting reasonable - I can get a five bedroom waterfront place here for $370 a week... if the ex and I decided to sell off this house and down-size and put a few dollars in the bank.

I would miss my gardens though - right now I'm putting in more trees for fruit etc... somebody's bonus in the future... free bananas, mangoes, passion fruit, lemons, limes, grapes.... it's hard... the pre-school across the lane can have the excess...
MICK
18th May 2017
5:03pm
Ahhhhh....... the garden. Come on in spinner.
The only reason I would ever move from the current enchanted location is to get a bigger block of (quality) dirt. But then is that a wise I idea as it is getting tough enough to get into the yard now? And the effort which goes into establishing a paradise is not exactly minimal.
Damned if you , damned if you don't. Wish I were 30 again. Don't we all.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
9:41pm
Trust me - doing the gardens with almost perpetual chest pressure and pain is not easy - but.. well.. the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak...
TREBOR
18th May 2017
11:59am
Soon it will be the Night and Fog Express running them to the New Territories for 're-settlement'.... it's no secret why Gladys The Jackal bought all those new carriages that don't fit - they were never intended to go anywhere but to sidings where Arbeit Mach Frei...

Don't forget to mention the rising crime and the constant pressure on older people to 'down-size' and try to secure a little stability in their home life before Big Bro Guv comes along and evicts them to generate market forces in housing sales...

Boiling frogs by slowly applying the emotional and economic pressure works every time...
Rosret
18th May 2017
12:21pm
I agree with your last line. Entire suburbs in Sydney have changed nationality in the last twenty years. Quietly people move away - nothing is said - they just go. It is an amazing country of change without anyone even saying a word.
Its easy to push the oldies out through denial of service in shops due to a language barrier and even a lack of appropriate shops.
Now the government is pushing to financially move them out. Even young families are being pushed out of my country town by wealthy retirees.
All because there is an under supply of homes.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
1:32pm
Years ago my mother lived in La'emba (glottal stop included), near Bankistan and Roselandistan (where they shoot people in their driveways regularly) - even then - in the mid 1970's - the locals were being quietly hounded out by - guess who - Middle Easterners, who brought a high crime rate and were as ill-mannered as pigs in the streets and on the footpaths, often walking in family groups right across the footpath and forcing everyone else out of the way.
MICK
18th May 2017
5:04pm
Only because retirees disengage from forming a VOTING BLOCK to bring the bastards to their knees. There's a lot of us you know.
Cat
18th May 2017
12:03pm
Nearly a year ago I had to move about 1000km from Brisbane to a regional area where I don't know a single person for accommodation that I could afford after Dept Housing pointed out to me that is what they are telling people is their only option because they have no housing available for about 10 years or more. But I have a medical condition that requires specialist treatment and I no longer have access to that because I am too far from any hospital that provides that. I have also been told I need surgery but I have no way of accessing that because there is no hospital where I am that provides that kind of surgery.

In the absence of affordable housing in metro areas so pensioners can access the services that they need, the only answer is an increase in pension payments, at least for people who do not have the assets to be able to afford suitable accommodation. We all know that the Govt doesn't care because they are alright Jack - but people in my situation have to fight for everything so one thing that people could do is to at least have a look at signing a petition that a man has started to compel the Govt for a suitable pension increase. Here is the link but the link doesn't work to click on it but if you copy an paste it in your browser the petition will come up:

https://www.change.org/p/lift-the-age-pension-above-the-poverty-line
Rosret
18th May 2017
12:24pm
Sorry to hear that Cat. - Surely they could have found one near a larger country city for you?
I think they deliberately made life difficult for you - there are better options than that.
MICK
18th May 2017
5:12pm
I do not want to appear to be making a value judgement Cat but most people struggle to own a house to avoid the exact situation you are facing. When in that situation you lose control of your life and are at the mercy of markets. Not pretty when they turn against you. Sorry you are unhappy and hope things improve for you.
sunnyOz
18th May 2017
7:31pm
Cat - at age 62, I moved to a country town 600kms from a capital city. Had to have 3 things - airport with one flight to city, hospital, and govt infrastructure. Firstly, I have not been out of work since, where as before in the city, could not even get a job as a cleaner. I am now nearly 65, and my casual govt job has just been made permanent. I rent a nice 3br house for $180 a week. I fill up my car with petrol every 6 weeks - so the money I save in petrol pays for any flights I need to go back to city. I have a far better social life here - benefits are I can go out, and either walk or get a cab - most it will cost is $15. Volunteer with 3 local groups, and is great not having to drive miles to get to places - drive more than 5 minutes and you are on the other side of town. Only one set of traffic lights! Only next week need to have a small procedure in local hospital - going private, and do not have to pay any gap or excess. I do still have my house in city, but had I stayed there, and not being able to get a job, I would have soon lost it, and had to go back renting. At least this way, I have a hope of keeping it. Can rent it out to cover the mortgage, pay cheap rent here, and save like mad to pay of my house for when I do retire. There is not a hope in billy-o of the govt increasing pension to a sustainable level, so I had to look to the best way to survive. I hope to work for at least another 4-5 years (body, health and brain willing!!) when I will go back to my house. But heading rural CAN be a great way to survive. I've met quite a few people who have done similar and it's proved to be their way to financial security and sanity.
ozbiggles
18th May 2017
1:02pm
I'm 66 and rent a two bedroom townhouse on/near the Gold Coast. The rent exceeds the pension and attachments. I have a small side income declared from driving a Limo several times a week, which affords me some money to exist on. But I am sadly going backwards, week by week, unable to even fund a removal of stuff to somewhere cheaper. The anxiety and depression gets worse by the month, and the Limo business (like Taxis) has been wiped out by Uber ! An unlicensed and uninsured transport operation wrecking family businesses by people who already have a full time or part time job, or who are already on Newstart or other Centrelink benefits without declaring the Uber money. Another can of Heinz $2 spaghetti tonight for me. !!! One in Three pensioners are still below the poverty line.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
1:33pm
Disgraceful, Biggles...
grounded
18th May 2017
1:44pm
Not a good look....though undoubtedly true, and reflective of a larger pensioner grouping. Have you ever thought of teaming up with another mature aged person....strictly platonic - if a woman, as a means of halving the biggest impost of all ...the Rent and Utilities. Wish you all the best.
MICK
18th May 2017
5:15pm
Technology sometimes sucks. The only good side is that people avoid getting into a cab with a foreign driver who is rude, objectionable and stinks. And then there is the cost of the cab as well.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
5:42pm
“The taxi business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs. There is also a negative side…”

- Dr Hunter S Thompson (he said 'television' not 'taxi'... but... oh, well...)
grounded
18th May 2017
7:58pm
@Trebor....I liked that....never heard or read it before....
TREBOR
18th May 2017
8:46pm
I write books sometimes, and as a result I collect quotable quotes...

Read Thompson's 'Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas' - the book out-does the Johnny Depp movie by a country mile...
MICK
18th May 2017
9:25pm
Uber quote: 'All taxi drivers are equal. It's just that some are more equal then others...'. Lost on all but those who understand methinks......no, not Thursdy night insanity.
Jannie
18th May 2017
1:45pm
So depressing to hear about what is happening in Australia at present so many people whether they be young or old living in poverty. What is being done about these issues - looks like jack shit. Why is our government giving so much to overseas aid and allowing more people into Australia? Our infra structure is breaking down and the government does not seem to want to know about it. Our hospitals are at breaking point and the public transport system is so over crowded not funny anymore. Something has to happen to make the politicians see reason, maybe North Korea has the answer sad to say.
Jannie
18th May 2017
1:50pm
Forgot to say I did write to my local member about slowing down immigration and her answer was that we need more people to pay taxes. I was dumb founded by her answer as the majority are on welfare because they cannot get work. The work is not there and who would employ them if there was as they do not want to speak English.
MICK
18th May 2017
5:18pm
Poverty is in the eye of the beholder. Compared to the third world even pensioners are well off.
I agree with you about unregulated immigration. It costs around $250 in new infrastructure for every person who arrives on our shores, money the government does not have and never planned for. Of course the bleeding hearts never look at the cost but just complain about the results.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
8:50pm
Are comparative costs of living in the eye of the beholder? Or only in the eye of the accumulator of the cash from costs of living?
MICK
18th May 2017
9:26pm
Everything is relative TREBOR. $100 in Oz and $100 in the Sudan are not the same.
TREBOR
19th May 2017
12:48pm
I could buy an AK in Sudan for that.. or less methinks...
floss
18th May 2017
1:51pm
I really feel for people that have to rent, luckily we worked hard from day one and own our modest home.We all know what has caused the problem.Always love your comments Trebor you have a great out look on life.You were lucky to survive that area they even had a rear gunner on the garbo truck when I was there.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
4:21pm
I try to intersperse a little humour with reality... sometimes reality gets me a whack of criticism.. but I enjoy it.

Thanks.

My brother was walking up to mum's place one day, and someone fire-bombed a car near the railway station... I saw a guy kidnapped off the street and the cops just said - 'Probably looked sideways at their sister'...
TREBOR
18th May 2017
4:23pm
Don't forget the shooting up of the La'emba police station one night, either.. lady copper was lucky not to be hit behind the counter... (must hurt being hit behind the counter)...
Triss
18th May 2017
2:20pm
Where I live lots of high rises have been built in the last few years. When I drive past them in the evening there are very few lights on in any floor. Apartments have been bought by Australian investors and overseas investors and then left empty to keep them pristine to accumulate in value. There are so many of them that I reckon the government of the day should be able to take over the empty spaces and let them for a reasonable rent to Pensioners and other low income folk. It would take a very brave government but it would be a big help for people who are struggling.
MICK
18th May 2017
5:24pm
Chinese. Brought on by deadbeat governments of both persuasion: sell the country and then retire on taxpayer funded pensions nobody else can access.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
8:54pm
And with that source of perpetual income (taxpayer funded pensions) isolated from any disaster that the same governments may wreak upon this nation, through slicing it away from consolidated revenue and putting it into a tax haven while paying no taxes here, and then borrowing overseas to make up the $130bn thus stolen from consolidated revenue.

Amazing - but true - believe it or not...

Beeziness is good in El Grando Republico da San Austrador - if you are in the driver's seat, that is.... the rest can eat cake....
MICK
18th May 2017
9:34pm
You are discussing the rich, not the political puppets who let it happen...with the one obvious exception, now hidden from the public gaze.
bandy
18th May 2017
3:12pm
At least you are living in the (so called lucky country)I had to leave Australia (my choice)& live in a third world country & its not easy but rent is cheap I pay $110 a mth water between $2 or $4 a mth power between $20 or$30 a mth.But I miss my friends & Aus & as I live by myself I can afford a few luxuries in life & a different culture thrown in can be quite challenging & just a small problem!!!cant afford health insurance as Im to old Cheers
MICK
18th May 2017
5:27pm
Damned if you did, damned if you did not. Bitter sweet by the sounds of it.
We were recently tempted to relocate to France. Cost of living much less, food much better (quality and price) but property taxes are prohibitive. Can't win 'em all I guess.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
8:43pm
I looked at buying a restorer farm in Normandy, three storeys and fire place etc... run tours of the battle fields etc... buy a VW caddy 7-seater...was going to have water tanks, solar/wind power and such, insulate well for the winter snow - age caught me - too much work now.
MICK
18th May 2017
9:36pm
And the government of the day will come after you for having a few euros to rub together. That is why the rich are leaving France.
Love the place. Hate the pollution. And not prepared to give away what I have worked for so hard and so long. Life's a bugger!
Swinging voter
18th May 2017
5:38pm
And some lunatic welfare agencies champion the idea of assessing the value of people's family homes for pension purposes. Reading the comments here, I'd say that the more governments and fools like ACOSS promote ways of pushing people out of the homes they slaved to pay off, the less incentive there will be to deprive oneself of luxuries in order to pay them off to be residentially self-reliant in older age. It's as if governments and agencies are actually striving for more competition for social housing. IMO Australia is in a residential mess and much of it due to over-immigration causing housing shortages with immigrants getting first dibs on social housing. Add in the conga line of Chinese nationals buying up the real estate for their kids - at any asking price. Blind Freddie could see that (a) stop immigration (b) stop foreigners buying up our real estate and (c) get efficient, fast infrastructure to outer/urban areas so people can afford to buy their own homes whilst commuting to their jobs.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
5:47pm
Right on all counts...
MICK
18th May 2017
5:47pm
The only "government" I can see trying to push people out of their homes is the same one which reduced the threshhold for the assets test: the current coalition government.
Not sure if the Chinese are buying for their children or just squirreling money out of the country because they do not trust their own government. Sound familiar?
Yes...the importation of millions of people is certainly a big part of the problem. Of course the magic want has not invented new jobs as this lot sell off everything to foreigners to balance the books, which they still cannot do.

Roger Montgomery got it right. Australia is headed towards "serfdom". Such is the fate of people who fail to watch the behaviour of political parties, where the money trail leads to and avoid the media which is for the most part the voice of the rich manipulating our country. It must be Friday?
floss
18th May 2017
6:34pm
Really great comment swinging voter so true you have covered all bases.And a third world country we will be.
MICK
18th May 2017
9:37pm
When you take away the ability of average people to make a living and pay off a house you are there.
TREBOR
18th May 2017
9:44pm
Yes - we've been a Third World country for ages now - just dressed up as a First World country... and Banana Republicanism is no way out...
BillF2
19th May 2017
12:52am
In a country as large as Australia, why is land so expensive? Greed, sheer unadulterated greed. From the top down. The price of land affects everybody and everything, from the cost of housing and rents to the costs of industry, agriculture and manufacturing. And who sets the price of land? State governments through their valuers and their taxes, real estate developers, local government through development requirements and fees. They either set the price or add to it. Why don't they do anything about it? Because they make too big a profit from the system they have engineered. Negative gearing will not disappear, because too many politicians and their mates own multiple properties, and they are not going to disadvantage themselves. Affordable housing will not reduce the price of land. All it will mean is that mug punters will be subsidising reduced rents for a few luckier people. Smoke and mirrors spring to mind when the government talks about 'investment in community housing and incentives to increase supply'. There are too many people profiting from the present system for it to change. So, if you are a pensioner who rents, don't expect any sympathy or help from the government. Better to organise and get the numbers to elect honest politicians who can see the cause of the problem.
Snowflake
19th May 2017
9:21am
Seems to me that if I have owned a house for fifty years and yes, it has five bedrooms, if I sell it as the government thinks I should, somebody else will simply live in it as I have done. But, I will have excess money if I downsize and that then allows the government to reduce or take my pension away. Doesn't really add up does it, unless of course you are a greedy politician that will give nothing up but expects everyone else to.
I decided to move to Tassie, bought 50 acres with a four bedroomed house. Rain water tanks, no water rates. Septic tank, no sewarage rates. My land rates are about $1000 a year, which is manageable. The hot water has a heat pump on it so is relatively cheap, induction cooking and a wood heater. And the peace and quiet is very relaxing.
floss
19th May 2017
9:59am
Would you like to change places Snow flake the inland city where I live was great once just a big country town.Now we have grid lock and new sub divisions on prime food producing land and the morons in Canberra call this progress.Please explain.
Snowflake
19th May 2017
4:06pm
Did you mention morons? You are too kind.
Mrs P
10th Jun 2017
4:42pm
If people sell and put a portion of their sale price into super, please can someone tell me what happens if there is another financial problem? Their money will go down, we had less than $400K in super when we retired and we lost $80K each then. I can't see me putting any money into the super account, the bank is not giving much interest but at least your money is there if you need it.
buby
21st Jun 2017
1:48pm
And while i'm here complaining about this that and the other WHY the hell are we constantly now getting so many popUPs while we trying to read. UNbelievable. I will refuse to come and read them if they don't stop that shit soon!!


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