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Housing assistance in Australia

For more information see Housing assistance in Australia 2013 and other Housing assistance publications.

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.

Infographic showing 539,000 rental properties short

539,000 rental properties short

In 2009–10, there was an estimated shortage of 539,000 rental properties that were both affordable and available for renters with income in the bottom 2 income quintiles.

Infographic showing  421,000 dwellings by social housing


In 2012–13, social housing provided more than 421,000 dwellings, usually at below-market rent, to Australians in need.

Infographic showing 3 in 4 households

3 in 4 households

In 2012–13, more than 3 in 4 (76.8%) new social housing allocations were to households in greatest need.

Infographic showing 2 in 3 households


In 2013, 2 in 3 (67%) CRA recipients would have been in rental stress if they did not receive Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA).

Despite this, 2 in 5 (40%) recipients remained in rental stress after CRA.

Infographic showing 65% satisfied

More than 65%

The large majority of tenants (over 65%) are satisfied with the services provided by their housing organisation.

Infographic showing 12% overcrowded


Overcrowding is far more common among Indigenous households, at a rate of 12% in 2011 compared with 3% for the overall population.


For more information see 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%).

Infographic showing 6% sleeping rough


On Census night 2011, 6% of homeless people were sleeping rough: staying in improvised dwellings, tents, or sleeping out.

Infographic showing 105,200 people were homeless on Census night 2011

244,000 people

Specialist homelessness services helped more than 244,000 people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness in 2012–13. Most clients were female (59%), and over one-quarter (27%) were children.

Infographic showing 23% SHS clients reported domestic violence


23% of clients who received specialist homelessness services in 2012–13 reported domestic and family violence as the main reason for seeking assistance.