How can ‘real-time’ data help us to understand the financial dimension of housing insecurity

Housing is a major expense for many low-income households. For those who rent privately and receive rent assistance and income support from government, fluctuations or delays in these payments can put serious pressure on household budgets.

To date, housing researchers have annualised point-in-time income data to investigate socioeconomic relationships between housing, labour, finance and welfare markets. This study will provide more granular insight into the real-time financial risks often associated with the interaction between casual wages, welfare payments and suspensions, moving house and debt repayments.

Researchers from the Brotherhood of St Laurence, RMIT University, Australian National University and University of Tasmania will use a newly available dataset which allows longitudinal analysis of the volatility of household welfare incomes from 2000 to 2018. For this project we focus on the fortnight-to-fortnight patterns of Commonwealth Rental Assistance in households reliant on Newstart Allowance or Parenting Payment.

Contact: Dina Bowman dbowman(at)

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