Welcome to National Shelter
We aim to improve housing access, affordability, appropriateness, safety and security for people on low incomes. Since 1976, National Shelter has worked towards this goal by influencing government policy and action, and by raising public awareness about housing issues.
Media & Advocacy
National Shelter advocates for the housing needs of low-income households. We have established and continue to update a Policy Platform as the basis for our advocacy. We see needs of low-income households in the context of the broader housing system which is impacted by the policies and actions of governments, business and the community.
We utilise a range of actions to pursue our advocacy including using mainstream and social media, direct contact with politicians and business leaders, public engagement and commentary based in evidence and the experience of tenants, owners, services and advocates.
Research & Reports
National Shelter undertakes its own research, prepares reports, provides submissions to government inquiries and inputs to private sector and community sector activities. We produce the Rental Affordability Index with partners SGS Economics and Planning, Bendigo Bank and the Brotherhood of St Laurence. Historically, it has been published twice annually and has set the benchmark for reporting on Australia's rental markets.
We have also now produced two National Surveys of Renters with CHOICE and the National Association of Tenant Organisations. Unsettled and Disrupted have introduced the perspectives of tenants themselves to our understanding of Australia’s rental markets. Our 2019 survey and report on Inclusionary Zoning has promoted the need for planning reform to address Australia’s affordable housing shortage.
National Shelter regularly updates its policy platform to help ourselves advocate consistently and to inform the policy development of governments. Our policies are evidence-based and draw on the work of an extended think tank of state Shelters, NGO’s, activists and researchers both past and present.
We test our policies against regular roundtables and consultative processes and use our policies to influence and shape agendas.
The Shelter Network
National Shelter is a small organisation but with extensive reach and input. As a national peak body we are the tip of a broad base of expertise, information, organisations and networks which work cooperatively to contribute to a broad national effort.
Our network is partly federated where we have active state Shelter organisations in every jurisdiction in Australia except Victoria. In Victoria, we work with the Brotherhood of St Laurence as our principal supporter but also with the range of other bodies in this space.
The State Shelters are themselves peak bodies in each jurisdiction working on housing policy and advocacy, sector development, with homelessness services and community housing providers. Some specialise around particular issues and others have to be all-rounders as the only peaks in their state or territory for housing and homelessness.
We have national members as well covering tenant advocacy, homelessness, welfare services and community housing.
It all adds to a rich and diverse set of inputs around which we collaborate.