Our research partners at the Melbourne Institute have released the first in a series of analytic reports exploring how the location of social housing in Australia impacts individual and family’s economic mobility. A. Abigail Payne and Miguel Ruiz raises the questions of how social housing density, location and the interaction with other infrastructure and services impact economic opportunities. Does the density of social housing impact community-level poverty transitions and what opportunities and barriers are created as a result?

Building on insights from other cities, it raises questions around what policy analysis and decision-support tools are needed to guide future investment to address not only the need for secure housing but strengthen long-term wellbeing as a result.

Initial report insights:

“Initial statistics suggest there is much more to be understood about the relationship between poverty and the role played by social housing in alleviating and preventing poverty. The report finds that falling below standard poverty lines is relatively fluid: not all households will remain in poverty. In fact, over a five-year period we often observe households moving out of poverty. Housing, however, is a more static measure in that households do not quickly move into or out of social housing. Social housing and related programs can serve as a stabiliser that supports poverty reduction. But the lack of social housing and support as one is experiencing income shocks or declines in income can lead to a further exacerbation of circumstances which can result in observing more persistent episodes of living in poverty.”