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Social housing: Wait lists

Wait lists

Housing is essential for a person’s health and well-being and plays a major role in the living standards of Australians. Social housing programs provide rental housing at below market rates to those who may otherwise struggle to find affordable housing.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Housing Assistance Data Repository (NHADR) provides important information on the demand for social housing, including wait lists.  Comparisons between states and territories should be made with caution, as some jurisdictions have integrated waitlists, where applicants are counted once irrespective of the number of programs for which they are applying. Fluctuations in numbers over time may be influenced by changes to allocation policies, priorities and eligibility criteria put in place by state/territory housing authorities. Data for individual jurisdictions may not be comparable across reporting periods or with other social housing sectors. See the source data Quality Statement for important explanatory detail.

NHADR data are also used in the following dashboard menu options: Dwellings, households and household occupants, Dwellings by Remoteness Areas, Suitability of social housing size, Financial assistance for housing and Dwellings and income units by Local Government Area.

See the AIHW National Housing Assistance Data Repository ( and Housing assistance in Australia ( for further information, including in-depth commentary and analysis and important data quality information.

Source reference Data tables: Social housing households 2023, table Households.26.