Regional Tasmanian rents have been rated as moderately unaffordable, despite improvement in areas including Devonport.
That is according to the latest Rental Affordability Index (RAI) prepared by SGS Economics and Planning for organisations including National Shelter and the Brotherhood of St Laurence.
The index measures rental prices relative to household incomes.
The index scored regional Tasmania at 116, meaning the average household seeking to rent could expect to pay about 26 per cent of its income.
The figures differ widely depending on the location.
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"Since the last release, towns in northern and eastern Tasmania, including Devonport, have shifted from moderately unaffordable back to acceptable rents," the report said.
"However, Launceston has shifted from acceptable to moderately unaffordable."
Housing is classified as unaffordable if housing costs exceed 30 per cent of the gross income of the 40 per cent of households with the lowest incomes.
The report said Greater Hobart was Australia's least affordable metropolitan area based on high rents relative to household incomes.
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It said Hobart affordability had nosedived further since the last release.
"At 93, its RAI score means that even an average income household in Hobart would be placed in rental stress if paying the current median (mid-point) rent," it said.
National Shelter executive officer Adrian Pisarski said there was nowhere in Australia where a Newstart recipient could rent affordably.
"The RAI evidence is conclusive: all Newstart recipients who are renting are living in poverty," he said.
"The situation is only marginally better for single and dual pensioners, who also face unaffordable rents everywhere in Australia.
"The implications for retirement incomes policy are dire, with more people retiring without owning and facing a completely unaffordable rental market."
He said older women were the fastest growing group experiencing homelessness and the findings pointed to increased rates of homelessness among older people.
Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Conny Lenneberg said the evidence was compelling that the "deeply inadequate" rate of Newstart was driving homelessness.