Housing is fundamental to all Australians and our housing market has a significant influence on a number of key social and economic aspects of society.
- From a social perspective, housing provides a stable base from which we can participate in society, form families, and enjoy retirement. Housing can determine lifetime education, employment, and health outcomes.
- From an economic perspective, housing has a significant impact upon investment, productivity and participation, as well as consumption and saving trends across the economy.
Housing is also central to the effectiveness of Australia’s welfare system.
Governments play a significant role in the housing market at two levels. The first is at the structural level, whereby governments determine the policy framework by which the overall market operates. The second is through direct interventions in the market, in circumstances where either the market is unable to provide appropriate outcomes for specific groups of people, or where governments are seeking to achieve specific outcomes.
At the structural level, influence over the housing market is divided between the Commonwealth, state, territory, and local governments. While state and territory governments are primarily responsible for housing and homelessness, the Australian Government spends more than $6 billion every year to improve housing and homelessness outcomes including:
- around $4.6 billion a year in Commonwealth Rent Assistance to help eligible Australians pay their rent; and
- more than $1.5 billion a year through the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA) to states and territories.
The NHHA aims to improve Australians’ access to secure and affordable housing across the housing spectrum. Under the NHHA, to receive funding, state and territory governments will need to have publicly available housing and homelessness strategies and contribute to improved data collection and reporting.
The NHHA targets jurisdiction specific priorities including supply targets, planning and zoning reforms and renewal of public housing stock while also supporting the delivery of frontline homelessness services.
Information on current housing and homelessness agreements and programs can be found below:
- National Housing and Homelessness Agreement
- Commonwealth Rent Assistance
- National Rental Affordability Scheme
- Building Better Regional Cities Program
- Hobart City Deal
Submissions to parliamentary inquiries into affordable housing and home ownership, as well as related housing resources and websites, are available from the housing resources and submissions page.