But 26.5 per cent of older Australians are under ‘housing stress’, defined as spending more than 30 per cent of your income on rent or mortgage payments, according to the latest Productivity Commission report on Government Services 2017.
This sounds terrible and heartless, but the Federal Government does provide Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA), which last year was $4.4 billion in 2015-16, up from $3.6 billion in 2011-12.
Without CRA, which is available to people on income support and pensions to help them meet the cost of private renting, the figure climbs to 57 per cent.
Rental stress on the rise
The CRA is indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). With rental costs growing at a faster rate than the CPI since 2008, its value has declined even further.
In June 2016, the average CRA payment was $130 per fortnight. The median rent was $437 per fortnight – that’s $307 people still have to find.
And it’s not just Sydney or Melbourne that has the highest ‘housing stress’, it’s Canberra at 34 per cent followed by Darwin (31.5 per cent) and Queensland (30.5 per cent).
Research shows our later years are meant to be the happiest times of our lives. How will we enjoy our old age without a roof over our heads?