The location of social housing is an important component of suitability. Location is often associated with employment opportunities, health services, transportation services etc. (AIHW 2019). For further information on the suitability of social housing in terms of location, see the latest National Social Housing Survey 2018: Key results.
Occupancy describes whether a dwelling is occupied under a formal tenancy. In social housing, occupancy rates are influenced by tenancy turnover, housing supply and demand as well as the need for the redevelopment or replacement of dwellings. At times, major maintenance work needs to be completed before dwellings can be allocated to a new household.
At 30 June 2019, public housing and SOMIH both had 97% occupancy rates, higher than community housing (96%) and Indigenous community housing (94%) (Supplementary table DWELLINGS.4).
There was some diversity in the occupancy rates for public housing when considering remoteness areas. At 30 June 2019, occupancy rates were higher for public housing dwellings in Major cities (97%) and Inner regional areas (98%) and lowest in Remote (93%) and Very remote areas (91%) (Supplementary table DWELLINGS.5).
The tenantable status of a dwelling relates to whether it provides a certain level of basic amenity and that maintenance is completed to the required minimum level. At 30 June 2019, almost all public housing dwellings were tenantable (98%); higher than the proportion of SOMIH (97%) and community housing dwellings (92%) (Supplementary table DWELLINGS.6).
At 30 June 2019, 4,400 (or 1%) public housing dwellings were not tenantable and 2,400 (or 1%) were undergoing major development. For SOMIH, over 400 dwellings were not tenantable and around 60 were undergoing major development.
At 30 June 2019, there was a relatively even spread of public housing dwellings that were a separate house (38%), flat, unit or apartment (35%) or semi-detached, townhouse, etc. (27%) (Supplementary table DWELLINGS.7). By contrast, the vast majority of SOMIH dwellings were a separate house (83%), with a further 14% a semi-detached, townhouse etc., which may partially reflect the location of these dwellings.
There has been a small change in the dwelling types offered in public housing since 2012, with separate houses decreasing from 39% to 38% of all dwellings by 2019 and flat, unit or apartments increasing from 33% to 35% over the same period.
Community housing dwellings were more likely to be a flat, unit or apartment (49%), followed by a separate house (30%) in 2019. There has been an increase in the proportion of flat, unit or apartment type dwellings in community housing since 2012, increasing from 43% to 49% of dwellings in 2019 (Figure DWELLINGS.4).