This research provides new national evidence on social housing pathways to assist our understanding of patterns of entry and exit, as well as housing and non-housing outcomes. The analysis is based on two powerful, longitudinal datasets; the Household Income Labour Dynamics in Australia survey (HILDA) and Priority Investment Approach (PIA) datasets. Together, these datasets provide new and valuable insight into: people’s housing pathways through and within social housing tenancies; and residents’ characteristics, experiences and housing pathway outcomes.
Much policy and research discussion implicitly characterises social housing pathways as either ‘successful’ or ‘unsuccessful’. Successful social housing pathways are often assumed to involve both an exit from social housing, and subsequent stability in either the private rental sector or home ownership. Correspondingly, unsuccessful social housing pathways may be conceived to involve either no exit from social housing, or an exit to another tenure, but a later return to social housing. Because so little is known about the social housing pathways that Australians follow, or the outcomes of those pathways, these characterisations of ‘successful’ and ‘unsuccessful’ pathways are contestable, and thus need to be re-examined.