Australia faces critical public housing shortage for next two decades, AHURI report finds

Australia has a critical shortage of social housing and governments would save millions with their own building blitz rather than outsourcing construction to a separate authority, a new report shows.

Across the country, there is a deficiency of 433,000 houses and units for those who need social housing, and an increasing demand for them means 36,000 need to be built every year for the next two decades, according to an Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute study released on Thursday.

The report found governments across Australia had only funded about 3000 new units per year but 15,000 were needed to prevent the existing shortfall from worsening.

Report co-author Dr Laurence Troy, a research fellow at the University of New South Wales’ City Futures Research Centre, said there were myriad reasons for investing in social housing.

“We should be investing like we invest in schools and roads. It’s vital for the functioning of our economy,” he said. “By not having people in secure housing, it puts pressure into other parts of government systems, into the health system, for example. If you’re keeping people in secure housing, they’re less likely to rely on other government assistance services.”

The report found that the total need for social housing into 2036 was greatest in Sydney and Melbourne in terms of sheer numbers, but Queensland outside greater Brisbane was close behind.

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Source: Domain