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Young people under 25 comprised nearly 40% of all people living in government-managed housing in 2008–09, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

This is higher than the proportion of people aged under 25 in the general community, which is around 34%.

Government-managed housing includes public rental housing, and state owned and managed Indigenous housing (SOMIH).

‘Within state owned and managed Indigenous housing, the under-25s comprised almost 60% of all people housed,’ said AIHW spokesperson Vicki Bennett.

Almost two-thirds of government housing households with a main tenant under 25 years were considered to be in the highest category of need when they were first housed, compared with around half of all households.

‘The highest category of need means that the household was either homeless, their lives, health or safety were at risk, their housing was inappropriate to their needs or they had high rental costs,’ Ms Bennett said.

‘While one interpretation of these housing figures is that young people and children are over-represented, it is equally fair to say that government housing is being priority allocated to households with young people and children, particularly those in high need.’

The report, Young people and children in social housing, shows that in 2008–09 about 300,000 young people, including about 240,700 children (aged 17 years or under) were residents of public rental housing or SOMIH.

About three-quarters of the 90,210 households that included young people or children were single parent households. Of the 9,865 households where the main tenant was under 25, just under half were single parent households.

There was some evidence of inter-generational use of government housing—between 2003–04 and 2008–09, about 1,600 ‘transitions’ occurred where a dependant living in public rental housing or SOMIH became a main tenant the following year.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Further information: Ms Vicki Bennett, AIHW, tel. 02 6249 5082, mob. 044 887 2799

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1032.

Young people and children in social housing