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Public housing

Industry Commission inquiry report

Signed 11 / 11 / 1993

The report contains the findings of the Industry Commission public inquiry, in response to a request from the Commonwealth Government, to examine the ways in which Commonwealth, State, Territory and Local Governments can achieve their social, economic and housing objectives more efficiently and effectively and how those changes can be implemented, with particular reference to the acquisition, maintenance, construction and management practices adopted by providers (including providers of community managed housing), the administrative and other mechanisms used to allocate housing, rental policies funding, financing and ownership arrangements; and associated Commonwealth, State and Local programs and policies.

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  • Contents

Volume 1

Cover, Copyright, Signing Page, Contents, Abbreviations, Overview, Terms of Reference

The Inquiry
1.1 The Commission’s approach
1.2 Issues raised by participants

2 Housing Assistance in Context
2.1 Housing concerns
2.2 Housing assistance in Australia
2.3 Government programs
2.4 Taxation and regulatory arrangements
2.5 Recipients of housing assistance
2.6 Distribution of housing assistance
2.7 International comparisons

3 Funding under the Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement
3.1 Funding sources
3.2 Disbursement of funds
3.3 Financial management

4 Housing-related Objectives
4.1 Government objectives
4.2 Operational objectives
4.3 Multiple functions

5 Avenues of Assistance
5.1 Low-cost private rental market
5.2 Addressing tenants' needs
5.3 Addressing the economic criteria
5.4 Appropriate mix of assistance measures

6 Provision of Public Housing
6.1 Current approach
6.2 Organisational reform of housing authorities
6.3 Security of tenure
6.4 Rents
6.5 Access to public housing
6.6 Benefits from the new approach

7 Rent Assistance Programs
7.1 DSS and DVA rent assistance
7.2 Rent assistance component of MRAP

8 A Better Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement
8.1 Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement
8.2 Commonwealth-State relations
8.3 Should current arrangements be changed?
8.4 Which level of government should deliver housing assistance?
8.5 Commonwealth housing interests
8.6 Separating responsibilities
8.7 Ongoing Commonwealth support for public housing
8.8 The strategy for reform

9 Community Housing
9.1 Government programs
9.2 Aims and achievements
9.3 Assisting people through community housing
9.4 Benefits of the proposed reform

10 Support Assistance Programs
10.1 People who need housing and support assistance
10.2 Available programs
10.3 Reform of supported accommodation assistance programs
10.4 Linking public housing with support services and facilities

11 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing
11.1 Current situation
11.2 Program objectives and administration
11.3 Reform

12 Arriving at More Efficient Outcomes
12.1 Reform of the CSHA
12.2 Reforming the delivery of housing assistance
12.3 Improving access and affordability generally
12.4 Improving the delivery of allied community services
12.5 Effective advocacy

References for Volume 1

Volume 2

A Participants' Views
A.1 Groups with distinctive needs
A.2 Aspects of assistance
A.3 Private rental market
A.4 Intergovernmental issues
A.5 State housing authorities
A.6 Administration of programs (other than public housing)

B Overview of Housing For Low-income People
B.1 Tenure characteristics
B.2 Location characteristics
B.3 Department of Social Security clients
B.4 Public housing applicants and recipients
B.5 High-income public housing tenants
B.6 Demand responses

C Rental Market
C.1 Nature of the good
C.2 Rental stocks
C.3 Government interventions
C.4 Market structure
C.5 Regulatory framework
C.6 Market operations
C.7 Supply responses

D CSHA Funding Arrangements
D.1 CSHA funding
D.2 CSHA accounting structure
D.3 Understanding the accounts
D.4 Subsidies to housing authorities
D.5 Accrual accounting

E Evaluation of Housing Assistance Approaches
E.1 Housing assistance or cash payments for general income support?
E.2 Cost effectiveness of public housing
E.3 Impacts on the private rental market
E.4 Resource costs of public and private provision
E.5 Allocative efficiency
E.6 Review of studies
E.7 Extra benefits from public provision
E.8 Rent assistance and headleasing

F Effectiveness and Efficiency of Public Housing Authorities
F.1 Objectives of housing programs
F.2 Measuring performance
F.3 Tenancy management
F.4 Property management
F.5 Co-ordination
F.6 Transparency and accountability
Attachment F.1 Government housing assistance schemes

G Organisational Reform of State Housing Authorities
G.1 Aims of organisational reform
G.2 Recent reform initiatives
G.3 The Commission’s proposal
G.4 Institutional and administrative arrangements
G.5 Requirements for success

H Asset Valuation and Management
H.1 Valuation
H.2 Asset management

I Pricing Policies
I.1 Current rent setting
I.2 Implicit subsidy
I.3 Efficiency and equity
I.4 Rent setting reform
I.5 Model
I.6 Assessment of the model
I.7 Implementation difficulties in large urban areas

J Public Housing Allocation
J.1 Waiting lists
J.2 Choice of housing
J.3 Priority access
J.4 Equivalence scales
J.5 Efficient and equitable allocation

K Other Housing Programs
K.1 Rent assistance
K.2 Consistency in private and public rental assistance
K.3 Inconsistencies in rental assistance
K.4 Shared equity schemes for public housing tenants

L Community Housing
L.1 Community housing programs
L.2 Program objectives
L.3 Funding processes
L.4 Project allocation
L.5 Legal framework
L.6 Management by community groups
L.7 Accountability

M Support Assistance Programs
M.1 Supported accommodation and support assistance programs
M.2 People who need supported accommodation assistance
M.3 Housing allocation and the provision of supported accommodation
M.4 The role of non-government organisations

N Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing
N.1 Program formulation and management
N.2 Funding and financial arrangements
N.3 Co-ordination with other services
N.4 Housing standards
N.5 Stock management and allocation
N.6 Incentives for recipients
N.7 Recent initiatives

O Inquiry Process
Attachment O.1 Visits and discussions
Attachment O.2 Questionnaire sent to State housing authorities
Attachment O.3 Consultant briefs
Attachment O.4 Inquiry participants

References for Volume 2


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