The Needs of Particular Groups

In addition to undertaking an overall appraisal of the relative affordability of existing housing supply for those on low and moderate incomes, housing strategies must consider groups with particular needs, whether in terms of the type of housing, or different forms of support which people may need to sustain themselves in their housing. These include people with a disability or mental illness, homeless people, the frail aged and refugees.

Ethnicity can also influence housing need and preferences for the location, size, design and tenure of housing, in different ways. In many countries, Indigenous households are disadvantaged in relation to housing, often having lower rates of home ownership compared to the nonIndigenous population. For example, the home ownership rates among Indigenous households in Australia are less than half those of the nonIndigenous population (34 % compared with almost 70 %) (Lawson and Milligan 2007). Indigenous people may also face discrimination in the private rental market.

As suggested earlier, social housing waiting lists can provide a useful indicator of unmet housing need within a locality, including a more detailed profile of the reason for and type of need; locational preferences; and trends over time. To provide reliable evidence, lists need to be well managed, open and regularly reviewed. Even then, there is a tendency for waiting list sizes to reflect expected chances of rehousing and local supply.

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