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Secure and affordable housing is fundamental to the wellbeing of all Australians. It provides a platform for many of life's benefits, including stable employment, connection to the community and a sense of home. Unfortunately, many Australians are not able to access affordable, suitable housing with their own economic and social resources. Assistance provided by governments and community organisations is available to eligible Australians who may have difficulties securing stable and affordable housing—this support is collectively referred to as housing assistance.

Housing assistance in Australia 2016 provides up-to-date information relating to government funded provision of social housing, rent assistance, home purchase assistance and support services to help households maintain their tenancies.

These pages were last updated in June 2016.


In 2014–15:


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394,167

households were in social housing, up slightly from 393,844 in 2013–14


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Mainstream community housing

continues to grow with mainstream community housing stock increasing by 76% since 2008–09


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Waiting lists

for social housing remain long, with almost 200,000 applicants on lists in 2014–15


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4% to 10%

of households across social housing programs were overcrowded, and 12% to 23% were underutilised


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Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA)

remains the form of assistance accessed by the largest number of Australian households, with more than 1.34 million income units receiving CRA in 2014–15


Additional material