City Futures Research Centre Arts, Design and Architecture

Demanding Behaviour: Developing Strategies for the Effective Management of Problematic Households


This project examines models of effective management of problem behaviour among public sector tenants. Policy-makers are also faced with increasingly constrained timescales and significant volumes of research information. The research therefore addresses AHURI's concern with boosting the utility and synthesis of existing research to ensure that such work provides more effective and accessible resources for policy-makers.The project will constitute a national study to identify and compare models of best practice for sustaining tenancies of people with problem behaviours in public housing. It is distinct from preceding AHURI research on anti-social behaviour and mental health needs of tenants in that it focuses on those individuals and families who are not integrated into formal mental health services yet whose behaviour places them at risk of eviction and creates significant problems for other tenants and residents. It places special emphasis on the distribution of resources and best available practices in order to disseminate effective practice and placed within existing budgetary constraints. The project has two central aims:

1. What existing research and practice guidance exists at an international level on the management of problematic behaviour among social housing tenants? The results of this review will further capacity in the housing research community by identifying suitable protocols that can be used in housing research synthesis (AHURI research theme 10, the policy horizon), and;

2. What are the implications of the current high-needs targeting policies of public housing agencies for program management with regards to linking public housing provision to other support services (Theme 1.3 Housing Management Practice).

The study focuses on what is an important area of policy development since Federal housing policies mean that public housing is increasingly becoming a provider of last resort. Sustaining tenancies is a challenge for public housing authorities because of the need to balance the sometimes conflicting objectives of social outcomes for tenants, social outcomes for neighbours and communities impacted by tenants with difficult behaviours, as well as sustainability outcomes for business managers. The difficulties of meeting this challenge increases the risk of homelessness for these vulnerable groups and may threaten other tenancies affected by these behaviours.


Final Report: No. 103:
A sustaining tenancies approach to managing demanding behaviour in public housing: a good practice guide

Final Report: No. 103:

Research and Policy Bulletin: Issue 094:
How can demanding behaviour in public housing be managed effectively?

Positioning Paper: No. 097:
Sustaining tenants with demanding behaviour: a review of the research evidence



Dr Rowland Atkinson (Uni of Tasmania)

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