A Tale of Two Housing Systems: How the Federal Budget Could Support Women’s Housing Needs

5 August 2018
ERA wrote this article on women's housing needs for the Good Shepherd Women's Policy Action Tank blog. In this tale of two housing systems, the Government subsidises the portfolios of those much higher up on the housing ladder at the direct expense of women in housing need.

Women are the primary beneficiaries of housing support systems and assistance. Single women make up 45% of the 1.3 million income units in receipt of Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA). Single men account for 30% and couples 25% (see here). Females compose 60% of the 288 000 people assisted by specialist homelessness services (SHS). And across all social housing programs 61% of main tenants are women.  Gendered patterns of housing support and assistance reflect the gendered contours of housing need and reveal the demand for housing solutions that are gender responsive. With just over 40% of CRA recipients in housing stress after receiving CRA, females making up 66% of unassisted requests for specialist homelessness service and almost 200 000 households waiting for social housing, it is clear than when housing supports fail from under-investment, it is women and their children who are left with nowhere to go.