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Key findings

  • This research delivers, for the first time in Australia, a consistent and replicable methodology for housing need assessment that can be used to inform resource allocation and simulate the impact of policy decisions on housing outcomes.
  • Housing need is defined as: the aggregate of households unable to access market provided housing or requiring some form of housing assistance in the private rental market to avoid a position of rental stress.
  • The housing need simulation delivers state and territory estimates of housing need through the combination of a number of interacting models. The simulation can determine housing needs, household formation and labour market outcomes under user-defined economic and housing supply scenarios.
  • The outputs produced by the simulation model should be regarded as reflecting indicative trends in housing market conditions and housing need rather than precise annual forecasts.
  • The simulation estimates current housing need in Australia to be 1.3 million households (just under 14 % of households), and this is estimated to rise to 1.7 million households by 2025 under our baseline scenario.
  • Almost 373,000 households are currently estimated to be in housing need in New South Wales, either unable to form or requiring some form of assistance to avoid a position of rental stress, rising to 678,000 in 2025. In Victoria, housing need is estimated to rise from 291,000 to 462,000 over the eight year period.
  • The results reveal the extent of the shortfall in affordable housing, now and moving forward, and the additional pressure placed on the housing assistance budget due to the growth in households requiring support in the private rental market.
  • Further development of the econometric aspects of the simulation model combined with new census data could deliver estimates of housing need at the local government area level.
Publication Details
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Melbourne, Australia