Australia needs to triple its small stock of social housing over the next 20 years to cover both the existing backlog and newly emerging need.
That is the central finding of our new research report on the housing infrastructure needs of low-income earners, published by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI). By our reckoning, 25 years of inadequate investment has left Australia facing a shortfall of 433,000 social housing dwellings. The current construction rate – little more than 3,000 dwellings a year – does not even keep pace with rising need, let alone make inroads into today’s backlog.
The report also shows that Australia needs to avoid overly complex private financing “innovations”. These have proven ineffective elsewhere and were recently abolished by the UK Treasury.