3 in 4 social housing tenants satisfied with their housing

Almost three-quarters (73%) of social housing tenants across Australia were satisfied with the services provided by their housing organisation in 2021, similar to results from the 2018 survey.

The report, National Social Housing Survey 2021, looks at the experiences of tenants in public housing, community housing, and state owned and managed Indigenous housing (SOMIH) across a range of indicators. These include tenant satisfaction with services, maintenance, amenities, and location of their home.

‘Social housing programs aim to provide rental housing to Australians on low and moderate incomes who may otherwise struggle to find housing,’ said AIHW spokesperson Dr Gabrielle Phillips.

Social housing tenants’ satisfaction varied across the 3 program types, with community housing tenants recording the highest satisfaction nationally (76%), followed by public housing (72%) and SOMIH (65%).

When asked about the benefits of social housing, over 90% of tenants reported it made them feel more settled, allowed them to continue living in their current area, and assisted in managing their finances.

‘Tenant satisfaction is closely linked to the condition of their home and upkeep of maintenance,’ Dr Phillips said.

Most social housing tenants reported satisfaction with emergency repairs (75%), but satisfaction with day-to-day maintenance was lower at 67%. This varied by state and territory, with tenant satisfaction of emergency repairs highest in Queensland (86%) and lowest in the ACT (63%). Satisfaction with day-to-day maintenance was highest in the NT (79%) and lowest in the ACT (49%). 

As the survey was conducted during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, questions regarding the utility of the home during this time were included. The survey found 80% of tenants who had to work or study from home during the pandemic considered their home to meet their needs.

Dr Phillips noted the important role social housing plays in assisting people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Scheduled for release in December 2022, the AIHW’s annual report Specialist homelessness services 2021–22, will contain updated data on the number of clients assisted into public and community housing.

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