City Futures Research Centre Arts, Design and Architecture

Housing Costs Housing Assistance and work Disincentives: Attitudes to Work and Employment Decisions

This research will seek to assess the effect of housing cost and subsidy structures and the capacity of unemployed people to gain work. More specifically, the research will look at how the housing costs that unemployed people pay in various tenures and the assistance available to them (rent assistance, secure tenancies, rent rebates and mortgage assistance programs), assist or inhibit the transition to work. The research will focus on the net effects of withdrawal of such assistance/support as income rises through paid employment.

The research will be guided by the following questions: Are housing assistance programs structured in such a way to reduce the net gain from employment, and if so, by how much and what alternatives are there? Do people gaining employments consciously make economic calculations about this and if they do, in what ways do these calculations affect their decision making behavior? What impact does assistance eligibility criteria have on the decisions job seekers make? Are there any differences between the behaviors of short- and long-term unemployed people in terms of the impact of housing-related costs? Similarly, are there any differences between behaviors in high and low costs areas? Are the potential disincentives only temporary? For example, is the loss of any potential housing assistance made good over time and therefore should there be arrangements to ease the transitional period before this is achieved? How important are housing costs versus other disincentives – e.g., Centrelink tapers and the tax structure – in creating (if any) work disincentives? Which groups are most γ€Žat risk' for such disincentives and how important are these in relation to other forms of disincentive? What is the position of people moving into full time as opposed to part-time and casual work?


Research and Policy Bulletin: Issue 063:
Housing assistance and workforce participation

Positioning Paper: No. 063:
Understanding the roles of housing costs and housing assistance in creating employment disincentives

Final Report: No. 067:
Work disincentives and housing assistance



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