An emerging body of international research suggests that housing is associated with many aspects of social and economic life, including personal and family wellbeing, mental and physical health, economic participation, social connectedness, community functioning, sustainable cities and social cohesion. It is less clear, however, just which dimensions of housing (and place) make a difference, and how, and Australian evidence is at best partial. Research which helps understand these linkages is important for governments and others in developing policies that connect housing policy and assistance with other social and economic policies and programs. Such ‘joined up’ policies and programs lie at the heart of the Australian government’s social inclusion agenda and related initiatives at a state and territory level.
This report investigates in detail one dimension of housing, which termed housing insecurity. The overall aim of the project was to explore, develop and operationalise the concept of housing insecurity in terms of the experiences of lower income renters in receipt housing assistance, either living in social housing or renting privately and in receipt of Rent Assistance.