THE rental stress rate in Ballarat continues to climb higher than other regional centres and has even oustripped pricey Melbourne.
The latest census datat indicates one in ten Ballarat renters are spending more than 30 per cent of their wage on keeping a roof over their heads.
The 2011 census shows rental stress in this region is 10.2 per cent, compared to 9.3 per cent in Geelong and 8.5 per cent in Bendigo.
It also compares unfavourably to 9.7 per cent in Melbourne and 9.1 per cent in Shepparton.
The percentage of households who rent also continues to grow leaping almost five percnet in a decade to 29.4 while outright home ownership has shrunk from 41 percnet in 2001 to 33 percent last year.
The Ballarat households are occupied by renters who pay on average $200 per week.
This is again the highest in comparison with Melbourne and nearby regional centres, with Shepparton second worst on 28.5 per cent and Geelong on just 25.9 per cent.
Salvation Army Karinya manager Janet White said rental stress in Ballarat made it difficult for clients to leave their short-term accommodation shelter.
“We’re a homelessness agency and our clients find to hard to have an exit point,” Ms White said.
“There are few rental properties available and, if people have to pay over 30 per cent of their wage, how can they afford other bits and pieces like food, education and petrol to drive their children to school?
“It means people stay longer in our accommodation.”
An Anglicare Australia rental affordability snapshot also shows there is no affordable and appropriate rental housing available in Ballarat for people on income support.
However, the amount of rental properties available was higher for single workers, working single parents with two children under 15 and working couple households with two children under 15.
Just over 33 per cent of Ballarat households have mortgages, with an average of $1307 paid weekly.
It is lower than Bendigo (34.7) and Geelong (36.2) and only slightly higher than Melbourne and Shepparton, both 32.7.
Average weekly mortgages in Melbourne are the highest at $1810 a week, with $1517 paid in Geelong and $1300 in both Bendigo and Shepparton, just slightly lower than Ballarat.