202,000 receive $682 million assistance with home purchase, private rents

Approximately 202,000 Australian households received assistance last year with home purchase or private renting through the Commonwealth State Housing Agreement (CSHA), according to reports released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Head of the AIHW's Housing Assistance Unit, David Wilson, said that $602 million was provided for home purchase assistance, while $80 million was spent on private rent assistance.

'Home purchase assistance is usually provided as a loan, not a grant', Mr Wilson said.
'These programs are designed to meet local needs facing State and Territory housing agencies, as well as meeting national housing priorities.

'Accordingly, the reports show that what is available and who is eligible depends very much on which State or Territory you are in.'

'Home purchase assistance provided by the States and Territories under the Agreement included $586 million in direct lending, $1.8 million in deposit assistance, $10.5 million in interest rate assistance, and $1 million in mortgage relief.'

'Of the $80 million spent on private rent assistance for 153,000 households across Australia, $46 million was in the form of loans for rental bonds, while $28 million was for rental assistance. In addition over $1.8 billion was provided by the Commonwealth through Centrelink in Commonwealth Rent Assistance payments.'

The CSHA provided 3,258 dwellings for emergency accommodation at 30 June 2002 under its Crisis Accommodation Program (CAP), while spending $41 million on additional dwellings or new constructions.

Governments, churches and other welfare organisations use CAP-funded dwellings to assist people in situations of actual or impending crisis or homelessness. Support services to these households are provided directly by health and community services organisations, and the national Supported Accommodation Assistance Program.

29 May 2003


Further information: David Wilson, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1202
For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1032