Latest AIHW data shows impact of declining federal investment in social housing

18 July 2019

“Social housing as a share of all housing in Australia is continuing its downward trend, falling from 5.3% of all housing in 2005-06 to 4.6% in 2017-18”, says Homelessness Australia Chair, Jenny Smith. (See chart below)

“This is unsurprising as federal investment in social housing and homelessness has also been declining. In 2019-20 funds are $207 million less than 5 years previously in 2014-15 (12% less than current investment).” (See chart below)

“Social housing is critical to both prevent and respond to homelessness,” says Ms Smith. “With less and less availability of this housing option, more and more people who cannot afford private rental housing are experiencing homelessness.”

“Alongside increased costs of private rental, this is a major reason that homelessness is increasing.”

“In each state, crisis accommodation and shelters are full because there are no long term housing options available that low income households can afford.”

“We urgently need the Federal Government to turn the dial on decline in social housing, and partner with the states and local government to generate new supply.”

Homelessness and social housing facts and graphs

  • Homelessness increased by 13.6% between the 2011 and 2016 Census
  • Social housing as a proportion of all dwellings fell from 5.3% in 2005-06 to 4.6% in 2017-18
  • Social housing numbers increased by only 552 dwellings in 2017-18
  • In 2017-18 Australia’s population increased by 391,000
  • AHURI has identified the immediate unmet need for social housing in Australia at 437,600 properties

Media enquiries: Isabelle Oderberg, Homelessness Australia, 0435 966 251 or