Community housing, while a relatively small component of the social housing sector, meets an important need for about 30,000 Australian households. The sector represents approximately 8% of all public and community housing dwellings provided under the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement.
The Community housing 2005-06:Commonwealth State Housing Agreement national data report, provides information about the role the community housing sector plays in housing assistance in Australia.
It shows that in 2005-06 community housing organisations offered a range of support services to tenants including information, advice and referral, personal support and community living support.
Ms Melinda Petrie, of the Institute's Housing Assistance Unit, said 'The population groups experiencing difficulty in accessing the private rental market are the same groups reflected in the community housing tenant profile.'
As at 30 June 2006, of those living in CSHA community housing, there were 7,718 households containing a member with a disability; 3,567 households from a non-English speaking background; 1,919 households with a principal tenant aged 24 years or less; 2,496 with a principal tenant aged 75 years or more; and 1,663 Indigenous households.
Approximately 90% of all these households were on a low income and the majority of households (66%) paid 25% or less of their income in rent.
The majority (64%) of Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement (CSHA) community housing was located in major cities, 22% was located in inner regional areas and 11% in outer regional areas. The remaining 3% was located in remote and very remote areas.
'Community housing is only part of the range of housing assistance provided under the CSHA which includes other areas of assistance such as home purchase assistance, mainstream public housing and targeted Indigenous public housing and crisis accommodation' Ms Petrie said.