Social housing shrinks as demand surges – AIHW

Social housing is shrinking as a propotion of overall housing stock, leaving more people with priority status unhoused according to statistics released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The data has prompted fresh calls from Everybody’s Home for a Commonwealth committment to build at least 25,000 new social housing dwellings per year.

According to the AIHW Housing assistance in Australia report, social housing declined as a proportion of overall housing stock from 4.6 per cent to 4.2 per cent between 2014 and 2021.

Over the same period, the number of “greatest need households on waiting list” increased more than one-third from 43,224 to 67,656.

Everybody’s Home national spokesperson, Kate Colvin, said the statistics were yet more evidence of a lopsided housing system that was failing people on low and modest incomes.

“People on modest incomes are being absolutely hammered in the Australian rental market with double digit rent increases. Yet at the same time securing a social or affordable or home is like finding a needle in a haystack.

“We  increasingly hear stories of families with full time breadwinners living in tents. In a wealthy, advanced nation, this is just unconscionable. Housing providers are overwhelmed with demand.

“These statistics paint a damning picture of surging demand and dwindling supply of social and affordable housing. As rents and mortgages skyrocket, this will only get worse.

“The election of a new government presents an opportunity for a reset. After a lost decade, now is the time to start planning and building 25,000 new social and affordable homes.”

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