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Social housing commencements by jurisdiction, 2007-2020

COVID-19Housing & homelessness

A key factor affecting the changing scale of social housing provision is new housing construction.

This table shows that the years 2009 and 2010 were exceptional, due to the Social Housing Initiative. More recently, new building commencements have oscillated around 3,000 units – or around 1.5% of all housebuilding. This compares with 16% of all residential construction commissioned by state governments in the period 1945-70. Maintaining social housing representation in the national housing portfolio – some 4.2% of occupied dwellings in 2018 – would require a construction share at least at this level. Failure to build at this rate means a continuation of the trend ongoing since the 1990s, whereby social housing continues to decline in these terms (from 6.3% in 1991).

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