Shelter WA holds concerns for economic future of Western Australians

Shelter WA holds serious concerns about the economic future for many Western Australians with the recent release of the Rental Affordability Index (RAI).

The RAI is an indicator of the price of rents, relative to household incomes, based on new rental agreements and is released biannually by National Shelter, Community Sector Banking and SGS Economics & Planning. 


Partner at SGS Economics and Planning Ellen Witte said renting was unaffordable in Australia and more so in city areas with more employment opportunities.


“The reality is thirty-one per cent of households rent and many will never have the opportunity to purchase their own home,” Ms Witte said.


“In many countries renting is an affordable, long term and secure way of living but barriers to large scale investment in delivery models such as ‘build to rent’ put the Australian market in a headlock.”


Head of Relations, at Community Sector Banking, Jim Barron said the latest RAI shows we need a new collaborative approach to addressing rental affordability.


“If the availability of affordable rental housing is not addressed, we risk jeopardising the productivity and wellbeing of our communities, and leaving behind those who are already disenfranchised, Mr Barron said.


Shelter WA spokesman Stephen Hall said Shelter WA has prepared a Pre-Budget submission to the State Government that includes key recommendations about making rental properties more secure and for it to be a viable long-term housing option.


“Rentals often do not have secure tenancies and the buildings are often sub-standard,” Mr Hall said.


“Shelter WA is pleased to see the Western Australian government is committed to amending the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 to include tenancy provisions for victims of family and domestic violence.”


Rental Affordability Index : Key Findings, November, 2017


Fast Facts


  • Soaring rents lead to overcrowding and force people into homelessness
  • The situation is particularly dire for pensioners whose rents often exceed their fortnightly pension payments
  • Housing a human right, but a lack of secure and affordable housing can have flow-on effects for the community and economy
  • We need more affordable housing close to job opportunities, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure critical to healthy communities to foster social, economic and cultural participation


  • Community Sector Banking is Australia’s first not-for-profit banking specialist, supporting more than 10,000 organisations; it’s a joint venture between Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and a consortium of not-for-profit organisations.
  • About National Shelter
  • National Shelter is a peak advocacy group whose mission is to create a "more just housing system, particularly for low-income Australian households."
  • About SGS Economics & Planning
  • SGS Economics & Planning is a leading planning and economics firm whose purpose is to shape policy and investment decisions to achieve sustainable places, communities and economies.
  • Shelter WA is an independent, community-based peak body that advocates for social and affordable housing and ending homelessness.



Further Comment:


Shelter WA spokesman Stephen Hall – 0408426263



Executive Officer of National Shelter Adrian Pisarski - 0417 975 270



Shelter WA’s vision is: All people, living in Western Australia, have housing that enables them to thrive.