Housing and Homelessness

COAG has identified housing affordability as a pressing issue for Australians and recognised the importance of improving affordability and access to safe and sustainable housing, including in Indigenous communities.

In November 2008, COAG agreed that governments would work together under the $1.3 billion National Affordable Housing Agreement per year to improve housing affordability and reduce homelessness and Indigenous housing disadvantage.

National Partnership Agreements on homelessness, social housing and remote Indigenous housing complement the National Affordable Housing Agreement.


More People with a Place to Call Home

COAG is delivering a comprehensive plan to significantly reduce homelessness by 2013. The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness provides $1.1 billion of Commonwealth, State and Territory resourcing over four years to June 2013, helping to fund new social housing dwellings and specialist homelessness projects across the country. 

The Agreement includes a specially targeted initiative, A Place to Call Home, which will create more than 600 new dwellings across Australia for homeless families and individuals.


More Social Housing for Low Income Families

The Commonwealth is providing $5.6 billion over four years from 2008-09 under the social housing component of COAG’s National Partnership Agreement within the Nation Building and Jobs Plan. This is the largest expansion of social housing undertaken in Australia, primarily providing accommodation for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The Agreement is funding around 20,000 additional public and community housing dwellings to meet priority social housing needs.  As well, there have been repairs to existing public housing stock (around 80,000 dwelling have undergone repairs and maintenance).  State and Territory Governments will also deliver reforms to public and community housing to improve efficiency, reduce concentration of stock and promote economic participation.

The National Partnership Agreement on Social Housing provided $400 million of Commonwealth funding from 2008 to 2010 to build almost 2,000 social housing dwellings.


More Housing for Remote Indigenous Communities

The National Partnership on Remote Indigenous Housing provides over $5 billion over 10 years to 2018 for up to 4,200 new homes and upgrades to around 4,800 existing homes. This will assist in reducing homelessness and overcrowding and will improve poor housing conditions.

For more information, see Closing the Gap on this website.


More Affordable Housing

COAG agreed to the recommendations of the Final Housing Supply and Affordability Reform (HSAR) Report out-of-session in July 2012. The report was authored by the HSAR Working Party and presented by the Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations, with an aim to increase Australian housing supply and affordability

COAG has agreed on a number of other initiatives to boost housing supply and improve affordability:

  • the $4.5 billion National Rental Affordability Scheme is committed to stimulating the construction of 50,000 high quality homes and apartments, providing affordable private rental properties for Australians and their families. The Scheme, which commenced in 2008, aims to address the shortage of affordable rental housing by offering financial incentives to the business sector and community organisations to build and rent dwellings to low and moderate income households at a rate that is at least 20 per cent below the prevailing market rates. NRAS aims to:-

    • increase the supply of new affordable rental housing,

    • reduce rental costs for low and moderate income households, and

    • encourage large-scale investment and innovative delivery of affordable housing;

  • the National Housing Supply Council monitors housing demand, supply and affordability. Since it was established in 2008, the Council has produced three State of Supply reports assessing the supply of land and housing relative to expected demand; and

  • Commonwealth, State and Territory land audits, to identify surplus land that could be developed to provide additional housing.

In April 2010, COAG endorsed a housing supply and affordability reform agenda to build on current initiatives and provide new reform options to decrease the time it takes to bring housing to the market, and to reform government policies that artificially stimulate demand or act as barriers to supply.