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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 2017 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 July 2017.

In 2015–16:


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845,408

tenants were in social housing, making up about 394,000 households.


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Mainstream community housing

continues to grow with mainstream community housing stock increasing by 81% since 2009–10.


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Waiting lists

for social housing remain long, with 195,000 applicants on lists in 2015–16.


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4% to 9%

of households across social housing programs were overcrowded, and 12% to 25% 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 1.35 million income units receiving CRA in 2015–16.


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Satisfaction was high

across all housing programs, with 74% of respondents (3 in 4) in the 2016 National Social Housing Survey reporting being satisfied with their housing organisation.


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