Conference paper

Rental vulnerability: a new methodology for measuring and mapping disadvantage in rental housing

18 Jun 2018

There is a large body of work on rental stress in Australian cities that is largely premised on the nexus between housing costs and income (Hulse et al 2015; Liu et al 2016; National Shelter and SGS, 2017). These studies map the (real and hypothetical) incidence of rental stress, discuss the financial stresses placed on various households and explore the misallocation of rental properties and households. While these measures are important and provide vital insights into aspects of the housing market, the focus on affordability alone does not capture how this issue may compound with other disadvantages experienced by households. This paper presents the outcomes of research undertaken for Tenants Queensland to develop and map a ‘rental vulnerability index’ (RVI) for Queensland. Originally conceived of to help plan the delivery of tenant advice services, the RVI combines various housing system indicators and indicators of disadvantage to produce a composite measure of rental vulnerability. Mapping of rental vulnerability across Queensland reveals further evidence of the geographical sorting of disadvantaged groups over the past couple of decades (see Randolph and Tice 2016), but shows a stronger regional characterisation, moving beyond the fringes of the major urban centres. In addition, not only is there a geographical sorting of disadvantage, but a concentration of multiple types of disadvantage into various locations. The analysis of rental vulnerability gives new insights into differing experiences of disadvantage by renter households, and into its geographical distribution and concentration.

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Geographic Coverage