$686 million helps 191,000 households with home purchase and private rent

Approximately 191,000 Australian households received assistance last financial year through the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement (CSHA) with home purchase or private renting, according to three reports released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Of the total, $606 million was provided for home purchase assistance and $80 million for private rent assistance.

Head of the AIHW's Housing Assistance Unit, David Wilson, said that the programs are designed to meet local needs facing state and territory housing agencies, as well as meeting national housing priorities.

'Home purchase assistance, usually provided as a loan by States and Territories under the agreement, included $588 million in direct lending, $11.4 million in interest rate assistance, $2.3 million in deposit assistance and $0.9 million in mortgage relief.

Private rent assistance was provided for 149,000 households across Australia. Of the $80 million spent, $49 million was in the form of loans for rental bonds and $26.5 million for rental assistance.

'Of the various types of private rent assistance available, bond loans are the only repayable assistance given, and depending on the jurisdiction it is either repaid in full at the end of a tenancy, or repaid in fortnightly instalments.

'All jurisdictions except for the ACT provided bond loan assistance to eligible people renting in the private sector. The ACT has re-introduced a rental bond loan scheme for 2003-04 financial year, however', said Mr Wilson.

The CSHA also provided 3,383 dwellings for emergency accommodation at 30 June 2003 under its Crisis Accommodation Program (CAP), as well as $32 million on additional dwellings or new constructions.

CAP-funded dwellings are used by Government, churches and other welfare organisations 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.

Reports:

Commonwealth -State Housing Agreement National Data Reports 2002-03: Home Purchase Assistance

Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement National Data Reports 2002-03: Crisis Accommodation Program

Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement National Data Reports 2002-03: Private Rent Assistance

12 March 2004


Further information: David Wilson, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1202 or
0407 915 851 (mobile).
For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1032