What is affordable accommodation?

Everyone is talking about affordable accommodation; it seems to be a bit of a buzzword now that real estate is becoming increasingly expensive, and with migration levels at an all-time high, rentals are becoming more challenging and costly. Here at the HMO Property Co, we have been providing affordable accommodation to the market since 2015

Understanding Affordable Accommodation and Housing Stress

Affordable accommodation, in essence, is housing that doesn’t compromise on quality yet remains financially accessible. A household is typically described as being in ‘housing stress’ if it pays more than 30% of its income in housing costs. Higher-income households can spend a higher proportion of their income on housing without experiencing problems, so they are often excluded from these analyses. Consequently, a ratio of 30/40 is often used as a benchmark—that is, if households that fall in the bottom 40% by income spend more than 30% of their income on housing, they are defined as being in housing stress. 

The Challenge of Rental Affordability:

With about one-third of Australian households renting, the cost of rental accommodation has soared, particularly post-COVID-19. In the past year, 2023, house rents in Perth have grown 17 per cent, and units have risen by 18 per cent to reach record levels. The median rent for houses in Perth is now $620 a week, while the median rent for units is $520. This rental cost surge contributes to the housing affordability crisis and underscores the importance of alternative housing models like HMOs.

Addressing Hidden Homelessness:

A concerning aspect of the housing crisis is the ‘hidden homeless’ – individuals who live in temporary or inadequate housing. Many people, including those on minimum wage, are finding it increasingly difficult to afford the rent on a standard rental property and pay all the living costs. This crisis has led to a rise in the number of people living in cars or sleeping in tents or temporary shelters​​.

The Role of HMOs in Affordable Housing:

HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupancy) are emerging as a game-changer in the affordable housing sector. They offer a blend of shared living spaces and private areas, making quality housing accessible and fostering community living. This approach is about cost-saving and providing a sense of belonging and security. In a world where social isolation and loneliness are increasing rapidly, our multi-award-winning property management business, Living Rooms, helps create communities in our HMOs and creates them outside with weekly events for our housemates. We have also partnered with our good friends at The Happiness Co, amplifying our mission to make a difference. As a valued member of the Living Rooms Community, you will gain access to an army of tools aimed at coliving, isolation, depression and loneliness. Some of the largest epidemics facing Western Australians.

The Future of Affordable Accommodation:

The need for affordable accommodation will only grow. HMOs are a sustainable solution, offering a practical approach that benefits investors and residents. As the property market evolves, we focus on providing clean, safe, affordable, quality co-living spaces.

Affordable accommodation is not just about providing a roof over someone’s head. It’s about quality, accessibility, and community. If you’re interested in how this can be part of your lifestyle or investment strategy, reach out to me, or any of my team would be happy to chat with you. Remember, staying informed is crucial to empowerment in the property world.