This paper has a simple objective: to review the current state of community housing in Australia. It was written at a time of major change for the sector, following the announcement in August 1992 of a new Community Housing Program with a doubling of funding for the sector. More generally, it comes at a time when the traditional public rented sector is under intense and critical scrutiny. Consequently, much of the discussion about the future role of community housing is set within the context of a changing perception of the need for and structure of social rented housing in Australia. Reflecting this, Section 1 of the paper explores some of these broader issues, including the definitional debate which emerged recently - what is social ho_f!Sing; how do you define community housing? This sets the scene for Section 2 which presents a review of the development and characteristics of community housing as of mid-1992. Section 3 presents case studies of four selected community housing programs in order to explore in more detail how the relationship between rents, funding, subsidies and affordability relate together. These four case studies provide the context for a discussion of a number of issues concerning the funding and subsidy of the sector in the concluding section of the report.
Urban Research Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University 1993