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What types of housing are available?

Find out about the different types of public and private housing available in Australia.

Private ownership

The holy grail of housing, home ownership frees people from the instability of renting. Things to consider include mortgage repayments, interest rates, council rates, home repairs.

Private rental homes

Private rental gives people who can afford it more choice in the types of houses that they live in as well as the location. Monthly rents are generally less expensive than mortgage repayments so are seen as a good option for people who don’t want the expense and commitment of home ownership. Things to consider include rental hikes, instability of tenure, regular inspections.

Public housing

Also known as Office of Housing properties, these homes are available to people on low incomes in need and are affordable with long-term tenures managed through state governments. Everyone living in public housing pays rent that will not be more than 25% of the total household income. Things to consider include the application list in Victoria currently standing around 35,000 including 10,000 for emergency housing with waiting times around two to 10 years and up to three years for early (emergency) housing, fluctuations in income could affect eligibility, no choice of house type or location.

Community housing

Community housing is similar to public housing but for the fact that they are managed by community organisations. They receive assistance from governments in the form of grants, loans, dwellings or funding. Some properties may be group share options where tenants have their own bedroom but other facilities (such as the bathroom, kitchen and laundry) are shared. Community housing organisations also offer Affordable Housing where rent is calculated at a percentage of market rent instead of household income.

Supported housing

Supported housing allows people with higher support or health care needs to keep their independence in a share type accommodation with onsite workers to assist with a range of services such as meals, medication, social and other health care needs.  You can apply for supported accommodation through the Disability intake and Response service on 1800 783 783.

Temporary housing

Transitional housing offers people and families in crisis a safe and comfortable place to stay while they work together with a support worker to assist them with getting back on their feet.  The support worker will assist the clients to move into long-term housing. Transitional housing is generally short-term accommodation which can range anywhere from a rooming house, flat or unit or a family home.

Emergency accommodation

This category includes supported accommodation where the resident receives help during their stay, refuges for both men and women, and hotels or motels for people needing respite. These options are temporary and designed to immediately assist people in crisis to stabilise and move on to something more permanent.

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