City Futures Research Centre Arts, Design and Architecture

Pathways and Choice in a Diversifying Social and Affordable Housing System

Significant transformations have been occurring in Australia's social and affordable housing system over the last decade, including transfer of public housing stock to non-government associations, redevelopment of public housing estates and new programs to increase the supply of affordable housing from diverse providers.

Decentralisation and the growing diversity of the social and affordable housing system, with a panoply of administrating bodies and various regimes of allocation, provide important opportunities to increase housing choice for low-income households, while also raising new challenges.

This research project will chart the range of pathways into and within the current Australian social and affordable housing system. A better understanding of the various ways by which people in different places, and with different abilities, desires and needs, access social and affordable housing will inform policies aimed at achieving higher levels of equity in housing choice for low-income households, and increasing integration and capacity across the system as a whole.

The specific research questions for this project are:

  • What are the pathways of entry into and mobility within the social/affordable housing system?
  • Is there any evidence of some groups being more disadvantaged? If so, why?

The research consists of a desk-based review of social and affordable housing allocation policies, as well as surveys and interviews with tenants and interviews with housing administrators in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.