Skip to main content

Housing Assistance in Australia

New data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Housing Assistance in Australia shows 1.3 million Australians received Commonwealth Rent Assistance in June 2018. The median rent paid was $225 a week and median received in RA was $74.40 – around 30% only.

See Financial Assistance data tables for details on age, State, and type of payment.

The report also shows nationally, in 2015–16, nearly 1.0 million low income households were considered to be in financial housing stress (defined as the households in the 40% of income that spend more than 30% of their gross household income on housing costs). Households with low income in the private rental market were more likely to be in financial housing stress spending on average 32% of income on housing costs, compared with home owners with/without a mortgage (28% and 6% respectively).

While the stock of social housing has increased 6% since 2008-09, it has not kept pace with the growth in the number of households. The number of social housing dwellings per 100 households declined from 5.1 per 100 households in 2007-08 to 4.6 in 2017-18.  It found that at 30 June 2018, 140,600 applicants were on a wait list for public housing. 

See also a recent article Focus on managing social housing waiting lists is failing low-income households by researchers at UNSW Centre for Social Impact in The Conversation.