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Housing assistance in Australia

Are you looking for assistance with housing?

The AIHW is a statistical agency that manages a number of housing assistance data collections, and annually reports on the performance of housing assistance programs. For more information on eligibility for housing assistance and housing assistance policies or on how to apply for housing assistance, please contact your state or territory housing department.


1.32 million

The majority of housing assistance in Australia was provided to assist private rental households, with 1.32 million income units receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) in 2014 up from 1.27 million in 2013.

Infographic showing  421,000 dwellings by social housing


households in Australia were in social housing during 2013–14. The majority (81%) were in public housing. This has declined from 87% in 2007–08.


Waiting lists priority is based on greatest need

About 74% of new allocations for public housing and 56% of SOMIH were based on greatest need for social housing in 2013–14.


Assistance to young and old

Almost a quarter (23%) of public rental housing and 39% of SOMIH tenants were aged 0–14 years old. Another 31% of public rental housing and 12% of SOMIH were for tenants aged 55 years and over.


For more information see Specialist homelessness services 2014–15 (AIHW) and other homelessness publications.

Infographic showing 244,000 people helped by SHS

105, 200 Australians

were homeless on Census night 2011—this is about 1 in 204 people. Over half of these people were male (56%) and 6 in 10 (60%) were aged under 35.


256, 000 people

sought help from specialist homelessness services in 2014–15. The majority were female (59%) and over a quarter were children under 18 (28%).


1 in 4

Clients of specialist homelessness services (23%) were Indigenous Australians in 2014–15, despite making up only 3% of the Australian population.



of clients who received specialist homelessness services in 2014–15 reported experiencing domestic and family violence, with the majority of these clients being female (78%).


On any given day in 2014–15, over 6,500 clients

of specialist homelessness services spent the night sleeping in crisis accommodation.