This is the first report of a project that explores the duration of housing affordability stress (HAS) in Australia. It updates research findings previously reported by Wood and Ong (2009), which tracked the housing affordability trajectories of Australians over the period 2001–06. The present project offers more up-to-date estimates of duration in HAS and affordable housing by exploiting a longer 11-year timeframe that covers 2001–11. The dataset employed in this (and the previous) project is the nationally representative Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey.
This project addresses three key research questions:
1. Were escapes from HAS permanent or temporary over the period 2001–11? To what extent did experiences of protracted and temporary spells in HAS vary by household characteristics?
2. To what degree are transitions in and out of HAS caused by changes in housing cost versus changes in income? Do Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) arrangements serve as an effective buffer against sharp rises in rents or income shocks?
3. How often do households churn in and out of HAS? Why do some escape yet fall back into HAS at a later stage of their housing careers?