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Migrant & Refugee Housing


The reasons for migrants’ relocation, their education and skill level, and the circumstances surrounding their arrival, influence the type of accommodation they require.  Initially, overseas immigrants often require accommodation in the private rental market.  Economic migrants, in contrast to humanitarian migrants, will often move quickly into home ownership once they have settled into their new region.  For humanitarian migrants from non-English speaking countries, their housing options will be influenced by whether or not they have a social network of friends and family, their employment prospects, and what type of support they require and are eligible to receive.


  • At Census night in 2011, Western Australia had the largest proportion of residents born overseas compared to the rest of the Australian States, with them making up 27% (531,747 people) of the state population.


  • 28% (6.6 million) of Australia’s 23.7 million people were born outside of Australia.  In early 2015, it was announced that the proportion of Australians who were born overseas had reached its highest point in 120 years.  Between June 2013 and June 2014, 212,700 people from 200 countries settled in Australia, 32,270 of which settled in Western Australia.  Most Australians born overseas were born in one of the following four countries as of June 2014: United Kingdom (5.2 percent), New Zealand (2.6 percent), China (1.9 percent) and India (1.7 percent). Since 2005-06, overseas migration has contributed more than 50% of national population growth.


  • Humanitarian migrants make up a small proportion of migration into Australia.  In 2010-2011 a total of 13,799 visas were granted under the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Humanitarian Program, of which 8,971 visas were granted under the offshore component and 4,828 visas were granted under the onshore component.


  • The Department of Immigration and Citizenship reported there were 307,050 international students in Australia as of June 2012, almost 36% of whom were from India or China.  International students may be particularly vulnerable to unscrupulous landlords since they may be unaware of tenancy regulations and landlord obligations, and may pay for accommodation before arriving at their study location.  International students may also be unwilling to complain for fear of eviction or questioning of their non-resident status.  















Last updated May 2015