March quarter rental report shows housing crisis continues in Victoria

6 June 2019

New data released this week confirms Victoria’s housing crisis continues to worsen, with rents rising more rapidly than inflation, especially in regional areas.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Rent Report for the March quarter of 2019 shows that when compared to the same quarter in 2018, median rents rose by 2.3 per cent across the state to $410.

In regional Victoria median rents rose 1.9% in the quarter to $320 which is an astonishing 5.6 per cent rise in the last year.

The current rate of inflation in Australia is 1.3 per cent.

The proportion of new lettings in Victoria affordable to someone on a low income, dropped to 11.5 per cent, compared to 13.2 per cent the previous quarter.

“Our homelessness crisis will keep getting worse until there is substantial investment in social and affordable housing in Victoria,” explains Council to Homeless Persons CEO Jenny Smith.

In metropolitan Melbourne, affordable rentals fell to 4.9 per cent of overall available tenancies, compared with 5.4 per cent in the previous quarter, while only 0.3 per cent of one-bedroom rentals were affordable to Newstart recipients.

“For a single parent on Centrelink income, 1.2 per cent of two-bedroom houses were within their means,” says Ms Smith.

“Homelessness services are working so hard to help our most vulnerable Victorians into housing, but there is no-where for them to go.

“We’re again calling on the Victorian Government to commit to raising its investment in social housing to the national average and add 3,000 new public and community owned properties a year.

“It is also vital that the federal government play its role in at least matching the state government’s efforts.”

Victoria currently has a 102,800 shortfall in social housing properties. The waitlist for social housing sits at 41,677. The waiting period for public housing, even for the highest priority cases, sits at 10 months.


Media enquiries: Isabelle Oderberg, Homelessness Australia, 0435 966 251 or