A review of housing management tenant incentive schemes


Tenant incentive schemes are intervention strategies used by housing managers to reward tenants who meet the conditions of their tenancies, such as paying rent on time or maintaining their property well. It was found that there is little support from housing managers interviewed for large-scale tenant incentive schemes because the net benefits of the scheme are considered marginal. However, there was support for smaller-scale tenant incentive schemes provided they were straightforward models that are not too expensive or ambitious. The small scale tenant incentive schemes existing in Australia are perceived by housing managers and tenants to contribute to improvements in service delivery, organisational culture and staff and tenant satisfaction.

Project Number: 40253
Research Theme(s): Public and community housing
Project Leader: Jacobs, Keith
Funding Year: 2004
Research Centre: Southern

Published research reports

Download now Research and Policy Bulletin: Issue 081: Can tenant incentive schemes improve housing management outcomes?
201 KB PDF Document

Download now Positioning Paper: No. 086: A review of housing management tenant incentive schemes
1.4 MB PDF Document

Download now Final Report: No. 096: A review of housing management tenant incentive schemes
770 KB PDF Document


The research analysed administrative data held by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) to determine Indigenous representation in mainstream public and community housing against six quantitative indicators of access: overall access, access to suitable accommodation, access by need, timeliness of access, sustainability of tenancies, and involuntary tenancy termination. This was complemented by consultations with public housing authorities about mainstream public housing policies and programs and case studies in Geraldton (Western Australia), North-West Adelaide (South Australia) and Inala (South-East Queensland).

The key findings of the research are:

  • The share of newly assisted tenants who are Indigenous increased from 9.5 per cent in 2001-02 to 11.8 per cent in 2003-04. The national Indigenous population share, at the time of the 2001 Census, was 2.2 per cent.
  • Once in public housing Indigenous households face particular problems: the rate of ‘moderate overcrowding’ is twice that for non-Indigenous households; Indigenous tenancies have much shorter median durations; and, based on WA data, Indigenous households are significantly more likely to be served termination and final eviction notices than non- Indigenous households.
  • While Indigenous access to mainstream public housing has improved, there is a need to further boost the stock of larger dwellings to reduce overcrowding, and to undertake work to examine the sustainability of tenancies.