Australia Housing and planning

Live Q&A Event: Rentals, Regions, and Rising Prices


The Rental Affordability Index 2021 data exposes the increasing unaffordability of rental properties across Australia for lower-income households and shows that many renters are worse off than before the COVID-19 pandemic. Rental prices continue to soar across the regions, pushing locals into rental stress and making it less accessible for city renters seeking a sea change to the regions.

Join us on Thursday to explore the latest rental affordability insights across Australia’s local government areas and discuss practical ways local councils can tackle unaffordable housing and support families in need.

Date: 2 December 2021

Time: 12:30 – 13:15 AEDT

Location: Zoom



Ellen Witte is a Principal and Partner at SGS Economics & Planning and is the lead author of the Rental Affordability Index. Ellen has expertise in housing policy, governance, business case development and social, economic and financial analysis. She believes in the power of engagement and collaboration and uses her communication, facilitation and consultation skills to deliver solutions that are developed with and owned by clients, stakeholders and communities. Ellen has managed many large projects that involve multiple clients and stakeholders around social planning problems such as governance reform, transitioning to a low carbon economy and housing affordability and homelessness.

Kishan Ratnam is an Associate and Partner at SGS Economics & Planning and the lead data analyst of the Rental Affordability Index. Kishan has significant experience in demand forecasting and gap analysis across sectors including residential and employment land, retail, education, sporting facilities, and affordable housing. He has expertise in economics and mathematics and is a media commentator in rental affordability in Australia.

Adrian Pisarski is the Executive Officer at National Shelter, partner of the Rental Affordability Index. National Shelter is a non-government peak organisation that aims to improve housing access, affordability, appropriateness, safety and security for people on low incomes. Adrian is a social commentator and has headed peak bodies at state and national level in youth affairs, homelessness and housing since 1980.

Hutch Hussein is the Senior Manager of Government Engagement at the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL). She co-ordinates BSL’s funding and policy advocacy to all levels of government in relation to its service delivery work, most recently co-chairing its COVID-19 response committee, which published a report reflecting key issues impacting disadvantaged communities and BSL’s recommendations, Voices from the COVID-19 Frontline. Social work trained, she has a 20-plus year career across the community services and government sectors. Prior to COVID, Hutch and her family also undertook a sea change from Melbourne to Victoria’s Surf Coast and she has seen first-hand the impact of locals being priced out of rentals.