Up to 40 per cent of all people renting in Lismore are experiencing ‘housing stress’, according to the group Australians for Affordable Housing.
The group’s spokesperson, Sarah Toohey, said this was well above the statewide average (27 per cent) and even the Sydney average (25 per cent).
Ms Toohey told local media that she was aware of one case that was so serious that a mother had to keep her children home from school because she didn’t have food for their lunches.
These figures were revealed in a summary of research commissioned from the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) on housing stress in Australia.
NATSEM’s figures are derived from the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s Household Income and Income Distribution, Australia, 2009-10, and calculate rates of housing stress defined as households on the lowest 40 per cent of household incomes who spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing costs.
The 30/40 measure is used because it is households on lower incomes who, when spending more than 30 per cent of their income on housing, face difficulties meeting the other basic costs of living.