Renters are four times more likely than homeowners to struggle with the summer heat, according to a new report from tenant organisation Better Renting.
The report examines the health risks from heatwaves in relation to housing. While heatwaves are already Australia’s deadliest natural disaster, Better Renting’s report, Home-baked: housing, heat, and health, argues that climate change and an ageing population are set to worsen this trend. Older Australians, people with mental illness, and the socially isolated, are especially at risk.
Renters are also more at risk. According to the Australian Housing Conditions Dataset, 16% of renters are unable to keep comfortably cool in summer, compared with just 4% of homeowners. The report says this is due to a combination of inefficient homes that are hotter for longer, and a lack of access to cooling.