Where people live can have far-reaching implications to their health, and the quality of life they may enjoy (Paddison 2012). It can affect whom they can socialise with, where they can work, what schools they can attend, and which services they can reasonably access (Ong et al. 2022; Paddison 2012; Phibbs and Thompson 2011). As such, it is often a critical factor in people’s housing choice, as the impacts to health and wellbeing can be substantial.
The limited number of available dwellings in specific locations and social housing allocation policies can limit social housing location choice when housing is offered to tenants on the waiting list (Flanagan et al. 2020). Because of this, it is critical to explore whether tenants’ homes meet their location related needs, such as access to education and training facilities, employment and friends and family.
NSHS question about whether location of home meets tenants’ needs
Information about whether the location of a tenant’s home meets their needs was obtained from responses to the following question:
For each of the following access to services, are your needs met in your current home (including the needs of those who live with you)?
Respondents were asked to respond for a list of facilities and services.
'We are very happy to live where we are, as we can walk to all the shops, post office, café.'
'Close to friends, community support, job, church, services for my children.'
'I'm only 10 minutes from the hospital, city centre, library, parks, and shops, public transport is fantastic, and there are a great selection of venues I can go to with family and friends.'
In 2021, nearly all public and community housing tenants reported at least one of their location-related needs were met. Of the needs surveyed, access to:
- schools (96%)
- public transport (95%)
- parks and recreational facilities or sporting facilities (95%)
were the most commonly reported location needs met among public housing tenants ( Figure Location.1, Table S4.1). Among community housing tenants, access to:
- hospitals (94%)
- schools (94%)
- public transport (94%)
- parks and recreational facilities or sporting facilities (94%)
- medical services (94%)
were the most common location-related needs met.
Satisfaction with access to:
- hospitals (95%)
- shops and banking (95%)
- schools (95%)
- medical services (95%)
was also high among SOMIH tenants nationally, however, there was some variation between state and territory results.
Figure Location.1: Satisfaction (%) with location (proximity to facilities and services), by social housing program, states and territories, 2014 to 2021