MEDIA RELEASE: Three times more social housing by 2036? Lets get it done!

New figures showing that Australia will need to triple its social housing over the next 20 years shows the way forward to fix our broken housing system and ensure every Australian has a home.

The AHURI report released today shows Australia will need 727,000 new social housing properties over 20 years to fill the current shortage and meet growing demand from low-income earners needing a home.

A third of new properties will be needed in NSW, followed by Queensland and Victoria.

Everybody’s Home campaign spokesperson, Kate Colvin, said the sheer number of social housing homes needed shows how governments have dropped the ball on social housing since 1996.

“Housing is the biggest single cost in household budgets right across the country, so it’s no surprise our polling shows addressing housing affordability and cost of living are in voters top 3 priorities for government to address over the next 12 months,” Ms Colvin said.

“In a country as wealthy as Australia it is outrageous that we have a shortage of 433,000 social housing properties. This shortage is pushing homelessness to crisis levels and means 1.4 million Australians are living in chronic housing stress and need relief.

Ms Colvin said now we know how much social housing we need, the next step is a national strategy for achieving it.

The AHURI report outlines options for funding social housing through measures such as capital grants and the government’s new National Housing Finance Investment Corporation

“Currently we are providing subsidies to investors through negative gearing and capital gains tax breaks,” she said. “These have contributed to massive house price inflation, and to house price volatility.”

“We need to assist those struggling to find a home they can afford to rent as well, and like any other infrastructure that has been neglected for decades, it will take significant investment and commitment from all levels of government and all sides of politics to make it happen.”

Social housing needs by state[i]


State Current social housing shortfall Additional social housing needed 2017-2036 Additional need as a % of national total
NSW 135,800 212,700 29.2%
Victoria 102,800 166,000 22.8%
Queensland 101,500 174,900 24.1%
WA 38,800 86,500 11.9%
SA 33,400 49,900 6.9%
Tasmania 11,100 14,200 1.9%
ACT 3,100 8,500 1.2%
Northern Territory 6,700 14,500 1.9%
TOTAL 433,400 727,000 100%


[i]AHURI: Social housing as infrastructure: an investment pathway: ttps://

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