Most public housing tenants happy with their accommodation

Two reports released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on public rental housing and state owned and managed Indigenous housing, show that social housing remains an important source of accommodation for households whose housing needs cannot be met by the private rental market.

The reports, Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement national data report 2004-05: public rental housing, and Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement national data report 2004-05: state owned and managed Indigenous housing, provide an overview of public rental housing and state owned and managed Indigenous housing in Australia.

The public rental housing report shows that there were 335,264 households living in public rental housing dwellings in June 2005, a decrease of 991, or 0.3%, from 2004.

'Households that pay rent lower than the market rent value of the dwelling are defined as rebated households - most (86.7%) of the households in public housing receive rebated assistance,' explained David Wilson of the Institute's Housing Assistance Unit.

'About 71% of public housing tenants said they were either 'very satisfied' or 'satisfied' with the services being provided by state or territory housing authorities,' Mr Wilson said.

Nearly three-quarters, or 71.4%, of public housing dwellings in Australia were located in major cities, with an additional 16.8% located in inner regional areas, and 9.6% in outer regional areas. The remaining 2.2% were located in remote and very remote areas.

From 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005 there were 27,776 new households allocated public housing. Of the 27,776 new households allocated public rental housing from 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005 3,500 allocations were made to Indigenous households representing 12.6% of all new allocations.

The state owned and managed Indigenous housing report shows that as at 30 June 2005, there were 12,288 households in state owned and managed Indigenous housing, an increase of 69, or 0.6%, from 2004.

More than a third (33.8%) of state owned and managed Indigenous housing dwellings in Australia were located in major cities, with an additional 21.9% located in inner regional areas, and 26.2% in outer regional areas. The remaining 18.0% of state owned and managed Indigenous housing dwellings were located in remote and very remote areas.

From 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005, 1,497 new households were allocated state owned and managed Indigenous housing.

Mr Wilson said that in addition to these programs private rent assistance is provided through Centrelink's Rent Assistance payments and also through the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement. Other important areas of housing assistance are home purchase assistance, community housing and crisis accommodation.

16 December 2005

Further information: David Wilson, AIHW tel. 02 6244 1202

For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel 61 2 6244 1032.