National Shelter media release —14 August 2012

National Shelter is concerned but not surprised at the latest ACOSS community sector survey report findings, and calls for more investment in affordable housing in response.

The report, released today, shows that what disadvantaged and low income Australians need most is housing:

  • Nearly 3 in 5 respondents listed housing among ‘high need' services of clients.
  • 81% say they cannot meet demand for their services.
  • 63% of respondents said waiting times for their service have increased.
  • There were 303,713 instances of service provision, but 20,496 instances (8%) of people turned away or 56 people turned away each day from services responding to the survey.

Chairperson of National Shelter, Adrian Pisarski, said the results highlight the need for ongoing investment in affordable housing programs:

'This is not news to the community sector: many services, including welfare services, report housing shortages as their greatest challenge.'

'But this survey confirms the figures that show up to one million households are in housing stress.'

'Commonwealth and state governments need to build on the past five years of investment by continuing their commitment to programs like the National Rental Affordability Scheme.'

National Shelter also believes this report demonstrates the reason why the Queensland Government should reinstate funding for tenancy services.

'Queensland has the highest rate of rental stress. Considering the ACOSS report shows housing is an issue in all states, the Newman government needs to act on this issue, fast.'

Adrian Pisarski, Chairperson: tel: (07) 3831 5900, 0417 975 270; email:

Joanna Carson, Communications Officer: 0418 718 584: email: