Social housing

More than 152,000 households have at least 1 person with disability (at June 2018). This makes up 42% of all social housing households (where disability status is known). Public housing has the highest proportion of households that have at least 1 person with disability (45%).

Newly allocated public housing households

Around 1 in 3 (32%) newly allocated public housing households have at least 1 person with disability. These households make up over half (52%) of newly allocated households with special needs in public housing.

Around 4 in 5 (82%) newly allocated public housing households that have at least 1 person with disability are households in greatest need. Common main reasons are:

  • homelessness (45%)
  • health condition aggravated by housing (21%)
  • life or safety at risk in accommodation (17%).

Newly allocated SOMIH households

Around 3 in 5 (58%) newly allocated SOMIH households that have at least 1 person with disability are households in greatest need. Common main reasons are:

  • homelessness (38%)
  • health condition aggravated by housing (16%)
  • housing inappropriate to needs (15%).

Household characteristics

Household characteristics include the composition of the household, income status, and Indigenous status, as well as demographic information relating to the main tenant.

Household composition is based on the relationship between household members. The majority of households that have at least 1 person with disability are single adult households (60%), slightly higher than those that do not (54%). Households that have at least 1 person with disability are more likely than those without to be group or mixed composition households (20% and 15% respectively) and less likely to be single parent households (8% and 16% respectively).

Almost all (96%) households that have at least 1 person with disability are low income households, similar those that do not (93%).

The Indigenous status of households is similar between those that have at least 1 person with disability and those that do not (8% and 9% are identified as Indigenous, respectively).

Main tenants of households that have at least 1 person with disability are more likely to be male than those without (43% and 33% respectively). They are less likely to belong to the youngest age groups or the oldest age group (Table 1). Note, that with the exception of single adult households, the main tenant may or may not be the person with disability.

Table 1: Age of main tenant(a) by household disability status, 2018 (%)(b)

Age of main tenant

With disability(c)

Without disability

15–24

1.4

4.2

25–34

6.0

11.2

35–44

13.7

14.4

45–54

25.6

16.7

55–64

31.7

15.1

65 and over

21.5

38.5

(a) With the exception of single adult households, the main tenant may or may not be the member with disability.

(b) Per cent calculation excludes age not stated.

(c) Household where 1 or more person is identified as having disability.

Source: AIHW 2019a; see also Table S6.

Benefits of living in social housing

While most households with at least 1 person with disability experience some benefits from living in social housing, they are less likely than households without a person with disability to have a positive experience (Table 2). For example, households that have at least 1 person with disability are less likely to enjoy better health; and feel less able to:

  • improve their job situation
  • start or continue with education and training
  • cope with life events.

Table 2: Benefits of living in social housing, 2018

Benefits of living in social housing

With disability(a)

Without disability

Feel more settled

94.3

95.2

Enjoy better health

77.8

82.9

Feel more able to cope with life events

83.8

88.9

Feel part of the local community

76.4

81.4

Able to continue living in this area

89.3

90.8

Able to manage rent/money better

91.5

95.0

Feel more able to improve job situation

56.7

69.1

Feel more able to start or continue education/training

62.7

72.4

Have better access to services

84.4

86.5

Have better access to public transport

81.6

86.4

(a) Household where 1 or more person is identified as having disability.

Source: AIHW 2019b: Table S2.6.

For information on access to services and facilities for social housing tenants, see Housing-related needs.

References

AIHW (Australian Institute for Health and Welfare) 2019a. Housing assistance in Australia 2019. Cat. no. HOU 315. Canberra: AIHW. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/housing-assistance/housing-assistance-in-australia-2019/contents/summary

AIHW 2019b. National Social Housing Survey 2018: key results. Cat. no. HOU 311. Canberra: AIHW. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/housing-assistance/national-social-housing-survey-2018-key-results/contents/table-of-contents