The Productivity Commission has labelled Australia’s social housing system as “broken, unfair and failing those in need” – but ACOSS warns it still doesn’t go far enough in addressing the issues at hand, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The Productivity Commission draft report on Reforms to Human Services says:

“The current system of social housing is failing those in housing need. There are people in the community who wait 10 years or more to access the financial support and security of tenure offered by social housing. About 400 000 families live in social housing but many have little incentive to exit and, in some cases, there is a considerable financial disincentive to do so. The two‑tiered system of housing assistance drives decisions about where people choose to live, rather than the needs of the users themselves.”

“Productivity Commissioner Stephen King said increasing rental assistance by 15 per cent would help vulnerable Australians catch up with rental prices, helping to relieve the burden on social housing,” the SMH article said.

“But CEO of ACOSS, Dr Casssndra Goldie said the draft report ignored expert advice that for the housing affordability crisis to be adequately tackled, there was an urgent need to expand social housing and the recommendations did not go far enough.

“To move to a housing system where everyone including people on the very lowest incomes is competing in the open rental market would be a dangerous move,” she said.

“The proposed 15% increase in [rental assistance] would go nowhere near what would be needed to ensure people have adequate income to compete, hence our recommendation for a minimum 30%, plus a serious increase in funding towards social and affordable housing.”

Click here to read the full SMH article.

Submissions will be accepted on the Productivity Commission draft report until July 14. For more information, go to


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