Secure and affordable housing is fundamental to the wellbeing of all Australians. It provides a platform for many of life's benefits, including stable employment, connection to the community and a sense of home.

Unfortunately, many Australians are not able to access affordable, suitable housing with their own economic and social resources, and may need the support of housing assistance. Housing assistance encompasses a range of state, territory and Australian Government programs that help low-income households secure and maintain housing. Housing assistance encompasses home purchase assistance, rent assistance, the provision of social housing, and services supporting people to maintain tenancies. Social housing includes all rental housing owned and managed by government, or by not-for-profit community organisations, which can be let to eligible households. Social housing programs across Australia comprise:

• public housing (also referred to as ‘public rental housing’)

• state owned and managed Indigenous housing

• community housing (also referred to as ‘mainstream community housing’).

The AIHW manages the national data collections for various housing assistance programs, comprising public rental housing, community housing, state owned and managed Indigenous housing, Indigenous community housing, private rent assistance, and home purchase assistance. It reports annually on the performance of these programs, and also releases reports on related topics of interest.

The AIHW, in collaboration with key government and non-government stakeholders, collects and analyses national housing assistance data.

The AIHW does not manage housing assistance programs. For more information on eligibility for housing assistance or on how to apply for housing assistance, please contact your state or territory housing department.