Sustaining high risk Indigenous tenancies

Summary

Indigenous clients who receive support through Tenant Support Programs to sustain their tenancies, are linked to external support programs to meet their non-housing needs and avoid homelessness. This study identified 18 specialist tenant support programs in Australia in 2009, five of which provided targeted support to Indigenous people. The limited data available on the outcomes of tenant support programs, suggests positive results. There is also evidence to suggest that Indigenous clients gain an appropriate level of access to tenant support programs, although the administrative data is limited. Strong linkage with outside agencies is a key element that ensures the success of tenant support programs. These programs must not only address the immediate tenancy-related issues that led to referral to the program, but also the underlying needs of clients such as mental health concerns, drug and alcohol dependence issues, urban life skills and strengthening family relationships.

Project Number: 80372
Research Theme(s): Private rental, Public and community housing
Project Leader: Flatau, Paul
Funding Year: 2007
Research Centre: Western Australia

Published research reports

Download now Positioning Paper: No. 104: Sustaining at-risk Indigenous tenancies
231 KB PDF Document

Download now Final Report: No. 138: Sustaining at-risk Indigenous tenancies: a review of Australian policy responses
1.01 MB PDF Document

Download now Research and Policy Bulletin: Issue 122: Providing support for Indigenous tenancies at risk: Australian policy responses
341 KB PDF Document

Description

Through a combination of a policy related literature search, a survey of all known tenant support program providers, a series of site visits, and in depth case studies in South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia this research identified eighteen specialist tenant support programs operating in Australia that assist tenants at risk of losing their tenancy to avoid eviction and entry into homelessness. Five specifically provided support to Indigenous people. Mainstream programs also often include services providing targeted assistance to Indigenous tenants.

The limited data available on the outcomes of tenant support programs, suggests positive results. For example, the HOME Advice program’s Wodlinattoai service for Indigenous clients in South Australia reported that of the 27 referrals to the program in 2007-08, all clients sustained their tenancies.

There is evidence to suggest that Indigenous clients gain an appropriate level of access to tenant support programs, although the administrative data is limited. The mainstream Supported Housing Assistance Program (SHAP) in Western Australia, for example, supports the most Indigenous households of any tenant support program in Australia; 548 in 2007-2008, compared with 346 non-Indigenous households.

Strong linkage with outside agencies is a key element that ensures the success of tenant support programs. These programs must not only address the immediate tenancy-related issues that led to referral to the program, but also the underlying needs of clients such as mental health concerns, drug and alcohol dependence issues, urban life skills and strengthening family relationships.