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Social Housing

Social housing refers to housing that is provided for low and moderate-income households that is supported with some form of direct or indirect government subsidy. This includes public housing provided by State Government as well as community housing managed by not for profit community housing providers.

Key facts

Social housing provides an essential service within the housing continuum, offering affordable rental housing to low income eligible tenants.


  • 4% of housing stock in Western Australia is public housing [1] .


  • By the end June 2017, there were over 44,000 social housing dwellings in Western Australia, of which over 9,700 are managed by community housing providers [2] , .


  • Of the 212 community housing providers in WA, the largest 10 providers manage approximately 65% of dwellings [3] .


  • 41 community housing providers, including not-for-profit and local government organisations are registered with the WA Department of Communities (Housing). This includes 6 growth providers, 15 preferred providers and 21 registered providers [4] .


  • In WA, demand for social housing exceeds supply:
  • By the end of August 2017, there were 15,732 households on the social housing wait list: 1,551 on the priority waitlist [5] .
  • The average wait time for accommodation is 153 weeks [6] .


  • Tenant satisfaction in both public and community housing is high, but community housing tenants report a higher satisfaction than public housing tenants with the standard of their dwellings [7] .


Rethink Social Housing
A State Government website with information and statistics on public housing in Western Australia: .

Community Housing – Registered Providers

General information on Community Housing with a list of registered community housing providers is available on the Department of Communities (Housing) website. .

Commonwealth Rent Assistance

Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) is a non-taxable income supplement payable to eligible people who rent in the private or community housing rental markets. Tenants in public housing are not eligible for CRA. For information on eligibility conditions visit .


Department of Communities (Housing)

Head Office (not for rental enquiries) (08) 9222 4666; Free call 1800 093 325 .


Department of Communities (Housing) Regional Offices

Tenancy matters are managed at regional and branch offices. To locate a local office or for key contact numbers for specific areas of the Housing Authority visit: .

Social Housing Rental Enquiries

For eligibility for social housing, bond assistance and tenancy contact the Department of Communities (Housing) at .

Housing Collectives

Housing co-operatives are not-for profit organisations owned and run by their members. For a list of Housing Collectives go to the Federation of Housing Collectives at


Tenancy Support

Tenancy WA provides tenanc y advice, education and support to resolve tenancy issues for tenants in social housing and private rentals. For further information go to .

CHIA (Community Housing Industry Association)
National peak body for the community housing industry:

AHURI Social Housing Research

AHURI has a range of research on public, community and social housing. .



[1] Rethink Social Housing Website September 26, 2017

[2] Information provided to Shelter WA by the Department of Communities (Housing), 26/09/2017

[3] Information provided to Shelter WA by the Department of Communities (Housing), 26/09/2017

[4] Government of WA, Department of Communities. Accessed September 26,2017

[5] Rethink Social Housing. . Accessed September 26, 2017

[6] Ibid

[7] National Social Housing Survey, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2017 , Accessed September 26, 2017 

Updated October 2017