Research on the Accommodation Supplement finds “High Expenditure, Low Efficacy”

A National Science Challenge report into the Accommodation Supplement (AS) documents what many have suspected for years about these payments to households. The AS leaves too many households in severe affordability stress and “leaves unaddressed issues of crowding, poor quality housing and homelessness”. The research report is part of the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge: Affordable Housing for Generations.


The authors are Kay Saville-Smith (CRESA) and Ian Mitchell (Livingston & Associates).

The findings are based on data from the 2019 Household Economic Survey which enabled the researchers to look at the actual impacts of the almost $2.4 billion allocated in the 2020 budget to the provision of AS. The report is a must read for those who are interested in using evidence-based interventions to improve housing outcomes.

CHA began calling for a review of the AS in the first iteration of Our Place over five years ago. This report demonstrates that our concerns were well grounded.

To achieve better outcomes, the researchers suggest that “Government AS expenditure could be more effective if some expenditure was directed into other forms of housing assistance that:

  • better leveraged household resources;
  • stimulated the building of low-cost housing;
  • opened pathways for households into intermediate tenures such as shared ownership or full owner occupation; and
  • relieves pressure on an under-supplied rental housing stock.“

Please read the report and tell us what you think via email here:


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