CHIA supports its members in their aims and to achieve their objectives. With the housing shortfall long documented, and the ever increasing need rocketing due to factors including housing affordability and the effects of COVID-19, registered Community Housing Organisations (CHOs) play a vital role as non profit housing providers.

For information on the community housing industry in Australia, here is the first national picture of the scale of the community sector in Australia and its current financial and operating position.

CHOs build and/or manage homes for individuals and families on very low to medium incomes. This housing changes lives, by providing a solid, affordable and secure place to live

Many providers also offer housing for specific cohorts, such as properties for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, older women at risk of homelessness, families escaping from domestic and family violence, Veterans and Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA).

In the 2019/20 year, the 101 largest CHOs managed over 118,000 social and affordable housing tenancies

From comprehensive research recently undertaken by CHIA for the 2019/20 year, the 101 largest CHOs manage over 118,000 social and affordable housing tenancies. Aggregate CHO assets had increased by 11% to $18 billion, including $12 billion of land and buildings. The sector generated over $1090m in rental income.

CHOs bring commercial disciplines to the provision of social housing. They are innovative, entrepreneurial and, unlike private landlords, they’re strongly regulated to protect tenants, to safeguard public funds and to ensure they remain solvent.

For more information on community housing, download CHIA’s infographic.

NHFIC’s Social Bond Report 2020-2021 also provides recent data on bond issuances and the work of community housing providers.

Housing is essential infrastructure – just like roads and transport.

A safe secure home enables individuals to realise their potential and make a contribution to Australia’s economic and social life.

There is a return on such investment. Research has demonstrated that it can yield savings to other public service budgets – e.g. such as health and justice.

Homelessness with wraparound
and health cost savings is $8680
or 46% of the affordable dwelling funding gap

Affordable and social housing can be a wellbeing, cash and cost-saving infrastructure across many areas, such as tenant support and service integration, mental health and DFV, financial stress, employment and productivity.

Download CHIA’s infographic and further research: Affordable and social housing is critical infrastructure

Housing Affordability and Supply in Australia

As revealed in the latest official figures (2016) 116,000 Australians are homeless on any given night. Moreover, especially in capital cities, the past decade has seen homelessness rising far ahead of general population growth.

A 2019 study notes that the private rental market has not supplied dwellings at rents (i.e., $202 or less per week) that are affordable to households in the bottom income quintile. While the market has supplied some homes at rates affordable to households in the second bottom quintile (i.e., at no more than $355 per week) the homes are increasingly unavailable to these households; being occupied by higher income earners.

Research shows that in 2016, there was a shortfall of over 650,000 homes across Australia, affordable to households in the bottom two income quintiles. Accounting for projected household growth to 2036, more than one million additional homes affordable to these lower income households will be needed over the next 20 years.

These national figures mask the disproportionate impact of shortfalls in suitable social and affordable rental housing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In July, the Productivity Commission reported that only 78.9% of the population was living in appropriately sized, not overcrowded homes compared to 92.9% of the general population . To achieve the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, 2031 target of 88% will require addressing these suitable housing shortfalls.