Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

Gillard Government welcomes social housing report

Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness, Senator Mark Arbib, today welcomed the release of a report by the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare that provides an overview of social housing in Australia.

The report notes that the Government’s National Affordability Housing Agreement, introduced on 1 January 2009, has “expanded the role of governments in supporting Australians to meet their housing needs” and comprises “a renewed focus on housing in Australia”.

Minister Arbib said the Gillard Government is continuing to invest to address long-standing pressures in social housing.

“The Gillard Government is serious about ensuring all Australians have access to housing – that is why the Government has committed almost $20 billion to help tackle housing constraints,” Senator Arbib said.

“More than 420,000 Australian households rely on the Government to assist with social housing.

“The Gillard Government is investing over $6 billion into social housing – the largest single investment in social housing by the Australian Government in history.

“This investment will see more than 21,000 new homes being built and over 75,000 public and community housing dwellings will benefit from repairs and maintenance works.

“The Government’s investment is also designed to contribute to the Government’s target of halving homelessness in Australia by 2020.

“This Government has also committed an unprecedented $5.5 billion over 10 years to address significant overcrowding, homelessness and poor housing conditions in remote Indigenous communities.”

The report, which covers the period between 2003 and the first six months of 2009, found that community housing had seen a 56% growth over this period while public housing supply declined slightly due to the preference for expanding community housing. 

This report comes at a time of significant change in housing policy and provides valuable information for the Australian and State and Territory Governments in delivering housing for Australians in need.