The release of the 2021 ABS Census data shows that the number of social housing households (which includes both public housing and community housing) fell between 2011 and 2021 across Australia except in the Northern Territory, which had a 3.3% increase over that time period. While Tasmania recorded a 5.3 per cent fall between 2011 and 2016, it turned this around to show an increase of 4.6 per cent between 2016 and 2021.
In the 40 years between 1981 and 2021 the percentage of all Australian households living in social housing has ranged from 4.9 per cent in 1981 to 3.8 per cent in 2021. Such a drop in the proportion of social housing raises the question of has Australia achieved the balance right, and also just what is the right level of social housing for Australia?
The NSW State Government has announced that, as part of the upcoming 2022 State Budget, they will give first home buyers the choice of either paying stamp duty on their newly purchased property or paying an ongoing ‘annual property tax payment of $400 plus 0.3 per cent of the land value of the property. It will be available on homes valued at less than $1.5 million.’ The intention is to reduce upfront costs and thereby make housing more affordable for first home buyers.