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Nine out of ten respondents to the 2010 National Social Housing Survey reported they are satisfied with their social housing, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

‘Housing assistance as a whole encompasses a range of programs that are targeted to low-income households. Social housing is a significant component of this and includes all rental housing owned and managed by government or not-for-profit organisations that can be let to eligible households,’ AIHW spokesperson Vicki Bennett said.

The 2010 National Social Housing Survey collected information from households within both public rental housing and community housing.

The report, National Social Housing Survey: a summary of national results, shows that over three quarters of social housing respondents said their housing met their household’s needs in terms of amenity and location. Over 50% reported that the proximity of their housing to facilities and services was beneficial in terms of education and job opportunities.

‘Among the households surveyed, unemployment was six times that seen in the general population, and educational outcomes (for both post-school and tertiary qualifications) were lower than for the general population,’ Ms Bennett said.

‘Despite this, many respondents reported that living in social housing had helped them, or members of their household, start or continue education (about 54%) or see an improvement in their job situation (about 45%).’  

Most survey respondents also reported a range of wellbeing benefits from living in public or community housing. For example, about 90% said they felt more ‘settled’ and over two-thirds felt they enjoyed better health.

‘These findings are particularly noteworthy, given social housing is typically targeted at groups such as low income earners, the unemployed, and people who were previously homeless or otherwise disadvantaged in the housing market,’ Ms Bennett said.

National Social Housing Survey: a summary of national results uses data collected from the 2010 National Social Housing Survey. The survey is the first since the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) between the Commonwealth and the states and territories was introduced in 2009.

The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.

Canberra, 7 October 2011

Further information: Ms Vicki Bennett, AIHW, tel. (02) 6249 5082, mob. 0467 787 387

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer (02) 6244 1032

Full report: National Social Housing Survey: a summary of national results