Housing and housing assistance pathways with companion animals: risks, costs, benefits and opportunities

Rental housing law and legislation Rental housing Social housing Housing Australia

This study investigates the policy and regulatory settings that shape housing options available to households that own companion animals. It considers housing and housing assistance contexts nationally across tenures, sectors, emergency/crisis accommodation, and for diverse population groups receiving income and housing assistance support.

Key points:

  • Householders’ rights to live with companion animals, and thus their ability to transition within and between dwellings, tenures, neighbourhood precincts and housing assistance models, are highly variable both within and between state and territory jurisdictions.
  • No previous study has examined housing pathways with companion animals in a system-wide approach. In the context of significant housing and urban transition and accompanying policy dynamism, the research addresses this significant knowledge gap.
  • Housing policy development contexts are identified that can be broadly characterised as ‘low barrier, companion animal permissive’ contexts, ‘highly discretionary’ contexts and ‘high barrier, companion animal averse’ contexts.
  • To a considerable degree, current policy development changes are found in some jurisdictions in states and territories that are both characterised more traditionally as ‘high barrier’ or ‘high discretion’ as well as ‘risk averse’. These contexts are in varying ways and to varying degrees moving toward more pet-permissive policy development and practice models. However, many barriers remain in place for access, mobility/transition and exit pathways for households living with companion animals.


Publication Details
License type:
Access Rights Type:
AHURI Final Report 350