Social housing as infrastructure

Should social housing be treated as infrastructure, and, if so, what are the most appropriate investment pathways?

This AHURI Inquiry will establish the policy rationale defining social housing as infrastructure; provide a business case for funding and financing it and recommend an appropriate investment pathway. It is informed by analysis of national and international argumentation, aware of current barriers and emerging financing models and outlines costs to government.

Final Inquiry Report

The Final Inquiry Report was published on 26 June 2019:

Lawson, J., Denham, T., Dodson, D., Flanagan, K., Jacobs, K., Martin, C., Van den Nouwelant, R., Pawson, H. and Troy, L. (2019) Social housing as infrastructure: rationale, prioritisation and investment pathway, AHURI Final Report No. 315, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Limited, Melbourne, https://www.ahuri.edu.au/research/final-reports/315, doi:10.18408/ahuri-5314001.

  • Alexandra West, Cbus
  • Richard Watling, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Victorian Government
  • Llewellyn Reynders, Victorian Council of Social Services
  • Jon Ross, Westpac
  • Adrian Harrington, Folkestone
  • Philip Fagan-Schmidt, Housing SA
  • Paul McBride, Department of Social Services, Australian Government
  • Marty Robinson, Australian Treasury
A conceptual analysis of social housing as infrastructure

This project will draw upon a synthesis of international and Australian research and experience and interviews with key international informants and local stakeholders with expertise in infrastructure, housing policy and federal-state relations to develop a persuasive, empirically and conceptually robust case for social housing to be treated as essential infrastructure.

Led by: Kathleen Flanagan
Project status: Completed
Final Report: Download the final report

The business case for social housing as infrastructure

This project will investigate business case frameworks to treat social housing as infrastructure. This includes crafting a conceptual and analytical economic framework to incorporate the full range of public welfare costs and benefits associated with social housing investment. The results will help improve investment decisions for social housing.

Led by: Jago Dodson
Project status: Completed
Final Report: Download the final report

An investment pathway to provide social housing infrastructure

This project will define an investment pathway that would follow from the re-conceptualisation of social housing as infrastructure. This will be founded on an evaluation of emerging Australian and international practice and on modelling the financial feasibility and cost-to-government impacts of various funding scenarios.

Led by: Julie Lawson
Project status: Completed
Final Report: Download the final report

  • Final Report to be published: Q4 2018
  • Project leader: Julie Lawson
  • Research centre: AHURI—RMIT University
  • Project number: 53140