EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: AIMS: In 2006 only 37 per cent of private renters with household incomes in the lowest 40 per cent of the national income distribution accessed affordable housing (Wulff et al. 2009). This Final Report aims to provide relevant information to assist policy-makers in addressing this situation. Specifically, the report addresses the following: Æ What are the characteristics of low and very low income households in the private rental sector? ‘Low income’ refers to households with incomes in the second lowest income quintile (21% to 40% of all incomes nationally) and ‘very low’ refers to households with incomes in the bottom income quintile (20% or lower). Æ Which low and very low income private renter households gain access to the affordable stock and which miss out? Is there a systematic pattern that might help to explain this outcome? Æ For low and very low income private renter households, what is the shortage or surplus of affordable stock and the true shortage (based on available stock) for each capital city and large regional centre? Lower income households face two main difficulties in their efforts to access affordable rental dwellings: Æ The first relates to the actual supply of affordable dwellings; in other words, whether the stock of affordable dwellings, irrespective of who occupies these dwellings, is sufficient to meet the demand from low income renters. Æ The second relates to the availability of the stock. In the competitive private market, not all affordable stock necessarily goes to households who need it the most. For a number of reasons, middle to high income households may occupy this stock, thereby effectively removing dwellings from the affordable supply for low income renters.