Use of community housing more than doubles in a decade

The number of households in community housing has more than doubled between 2007–08 and 2016–17, according to a new report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Housing assistance in Australia 2018, shows that while public housing continues to be the most commonly used form of social housing—providing services to almost 80% of households in social housing —the number of households in community housing has more than doubled (rising by 117%) since 2007–08; in 2007–08, there were around 35,000 households in community housing, but this had risen to 76,000 in 2016–17.

The report also shows that community housing generally has lower rates of underuse than other social housing programs. About 7% of community housing households were considered to be in underutilised dwellings (that is, having more bedrooms than is needed for the household), compared to 17% of public rental dwellings and 26% of state owned and managed Indigenous housing (SOMIH) dwellings.

“SOMIH dwellings were also the most likely to be overcrowded, with 24% considered to be too small for the household living in it,” AIHW spokesperson Matthew James said.

“Comparatively, 4% of both community household and public housing households were considered overcrowded.”

The report also highlights the decline in home ownership, with the most notable fall among young people. In 1971, 64% of 30–34 year olds and 50% of 25–29 year olds owned their home, with this rate falling to 50% and 37%, respectively, in 2016.

Read the full report on the AIHW website.