Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Research shows tenants are satisfied with public housing

The acting Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Julie Collins, today welcomed the latest research analysis showing most public and community housing tenants are satisfied with the quality of their housing.

The detailed results from the National social housing survey state and territories results 2010 by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare are a snapshot of the community and social housing sector, providing vital information on the experiences of tenants.

“Finding a secure place to call home is critical in ending the cycle of homelessness and it’s encouraging that this report found public and community housing provides long-term security to many tenants,” Ms Collins said.

“And I’m pleased to see the survey shows the majority of tenants were satisfied with the services of their housing provider.

“Around 90 per cent of social housing tenants felt more settled and more than two-thirds enjoyed better health.

“The survey paints a detailed picture of the mix of tenants and their experiences and its findings will help us compare the data against other results such as the 2011 Census.”

The report also found:

  • The majority of tenants were aged over 55 years
  • 63 per cent of tenants over 55 were in public housing and 51 per cent in community housing
  • Public and community housing tenants have lower labour force participation rates and education levels and higher rates of disability
  • About one in five public housing tenants and one in three community housing tenants had been homeless at some time in their lives

“The Australian Government believes all Australians are entitled to a safe, affordable home and this research reinforces our decision to make housing and homelessness a priority,” Ms Collins said.

“We have invested a record $20 billion in housing and homelessness programs since 2008, including the Social Housing Initiative, the National Rental Affordability Scheme, the National Affordable Housing Agreement, the Housing Affordability Fund and the Building Better Regional Cities program.

“Our $5.6 billion Social Housing Initiative is the single largest investment in social housing ever undertaken by an Australian Government.

“It’s designed to assist low income Australians who are homeless or struggling in the private rental market.

“We’re building almost 20,000 homes across the nation under this initiative and already 18,800 of these have been completed,” Ms Collins said.

The Australian Government is also working with state and territory governments to introduce a National Regulatory System for Community Housing Providers.

“Nationally consistent regulations will promote the growth of the community housing sector across Australia,” Ms Collins said.

“We know we need more affordable housing and this Government will continue to work to provide secure, affordable and appropriate housing for Australia’s most vulnerable people.”