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This research considers the economic literature relating to pandemics, and models a range of related economic outcomes on employment and unemployment by sector, and on the housing outcomes of home owners, private renters, and small investor landlords in Australia from late 2020 and through 2021.

Key points:

  • There are 956,000 households living in Housing Affordability Stress (HAS) in Australia. Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) reduces this number to 758,000. There is a heavy concentration in the private rental sector (69%) but this is reduced to 61 per cent after CRA is taken into account.
  • Nearly 50,000 households that face high housing cost burdens themselves also own a private investment property – this is cause for concern given that private renters have been disproportionately affected by the downturn.
  • It is estimated that the number of households living with HAS would have risen to 1,336,000 (from the 758,000 baseline) without the JobKeeper and JobSeeker interventions.
  • The JobKeeper and JobSeeker interventions reduced the incidence of housing affordability stress by a considerable amount: 861,500 household compared to 1,336,000 without the intervention.
Publication Details




License type:
Access Rights Type:
AHURI Final Report 345