Australian Demographic Trends and Implications for Housing Assistance Programs
This report presents the findings from two programs of research. In the first (Part 1), we explore the implications of demographic change for government outlays on housing assistance, and the government tax revenues foregone as a result of concessions extended to home owners. Population ageing, growth in the numbers of single people and anticipated falls in the rate of home ownership are key motivations for this first program of research, because these changes are expected to raise government outlays on housing assistance and increase the amount of tax revenue foregone as a result of tax and asset test concessions to home owners.
In view of these expectations, federal and state governments are showing a keen interest in innovative housing assistance programs that offer more cost-effective support to those least able to ‘pay their own way’ in housing markets. Numerous options have been put forward, and in the second program of research (Part 2) we investigate one of those options: a differentiated form of housing assistance (secure leases) that supports those people who are both vulnerable to housing affordability stress and in need of secure housing. It offers a costing of secure leases, which is then compared to the estimated cost of alternatively delivering public housing to the expected clients of such a program