Canberra has second-highest level of under-used public housing

The ACT has the nation’s second-highest proportion of under-utilised public housing dwellings in the country, as the number of public housing dwellings in Canberra has grown just 2.1 per cent in three years.

The 2018 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report on housing assistance also found Canberra was part of a national trend where the majority of growth in social housing was coming from the community housing sector.

It comes as Canberra rents have risen to be the third highest in the country, with very few properties in the city affordable for people on pensions, youth allowance or Newstart and a promised major funding injection for affordable housing did not eventuate in the latest territory budget.

The report found the proportion of Canberra households living in public housing properties that were “under-utilised” reached 17.2 per cent last year, slightly above the national average of 16.6 per cent, and up from the ACT’s 16.2 per cent rate in June 2014.

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