At a glance

Most tenants are satisfied with housing services

In 2018, 3 in 4 (75%) social housing tenants Australia-wide were satisfied with the services provided by their housing organisation. This high overall level of satisfaction has not changed significantly since the last National Social Housing Survey in 2016 (74%). This proportion ranged from 2 in 3 SOMIH tenants (66%) to 3 in 4 PH tenants (74%) and 4 in 5 CH tenants (80%).

Satisfaction highest in Queensland

From 2014 to 2018, the satisfaction rate of tenants in Queensland was higher than in the rest of Australia and stood at 85% in 2018. This was underpinned by a strong result for Queensland PH (87% in 2018).

The satisfaction levels of PH tenants in the Northern Territory rose significantly over 4 years – from 72% in 2014 to 79% in 2018.

Home structural condition is the most important factor in tenant satisfaction

Tenant satisfaction with services from their housing provider is closely coupled to the condition of their home, with satisfaction falling significantly as structural problems increase. This relationship holds after accounting for a wide range of geographic, demographic and housing-related factors.

There are also significant relationships between tenant satisfaction and the number of working facilities in the home, time spent living in social housing, household composition, housing program, and geographic variables such as state or territory

Community housing tenants most likely to be satisfied, but the effect is small

Living in CH is associated with higher tenant satisfaction. However, once we account for factors such as dwelling condition, time in social housing and household composition, CH tenants are only a little more likely to be satisfied than similar PH tenants.

Tenants feel settled and are better at managing their rent

Nearly all tenants cite feeling more settled as a benefit of living in social housing (19 in 20, or 95%). Other widely reported benefits are being able to manage rent/money better (94%) and being able to continue living in the area (91%). The least reported was feeling more able to improve one’s job situation, but this was still acknowledged as a benefit by 2 out of 3 tenants (67%).

Satisfaction with home location and amenity is high

A high proportion of tenants said that the location of their home meets their needs (typically 90–95%). This holds true across a wide range of location aspects (from shops and banking to family and friends).

From a range of home amenities, PH, SOMIH and CH tenants were most satisfied with ease of access and entry (90% or more in each program). While most Indigenous households said the size of their dwelling meets their needs (79%), this is lower than for other households (87%).

Nearly 4 in 10 tenants say their home is not comfortable in the heat or cold

In 2018, across all programs, about 6 in 10 (62%) tenants said that their home meets their needs for thermal comfort (warm in winter, cool in summer), while nearly 4 in 10 said their homes do not. This was the lowest proportion recorded for any of the amenities listed in the survey – the second lowest was for energy efficiency (76%).