Achieving an economically and socially sustainable framework for the provision of social housing is vital. To meet this challenge, many innovative models are being explored both in Australia and internationally, including partnerships and financing arrangements involving a mix of public, private and not for profit agencies.

Dr Judy Kraatz: Valuing Social Housing
Dr Judy Kraatz

The key aim of our Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBEnrc) Valuing Social Housing project is to build an evidence base to support investment across both housing and non-housing outcomes which addresses the return on investment from a broader economic, social and individual perspective.

Our partners in this research are the Western Australian Department of Housing, the Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works, the NSW Land and Housing Corporation, Griffith University, Curtin University and the National Affordable Housing Consortium.

A central element of the approach is productivity, for both the individual and for society more broadly. The research identified a broad range of housing and non-housing outcomes which can be attributed to having safe and stable housing, for example, improved resident well-being, better employment outcomes, stronger community ties and a sense of safety within a neighbourhood.

This has benefits across stakeholders and agencies, from the tenant to the housing provider, and to local, state and the commonwealth government.

Our project has delivered a Strategic Evaluation Framework to help build the evidence base for justifying further investment in social (and affordable) housing, including:

  • Domain Tables – across nine domains[1] including 53 outcomes and over 180 indicators: detailing over 60 academic references in support of the links between housing and non-housing outcomes; return on investment information across social return on investment (SROI), well-being valuation analysis (WVA) and life-stories; and details of over 40 relevant Australian datasets.
  • The Composite Return on Investment (CROI) approach for addressing the broad based potential for return on investment when building the case for investment.

More details are available in our project reports and YouTube video.

Watch our latest YouTube video here.

[1] The nine domains established in the previous Rethinking Social Housing project are: community, economy, education, employment, environment, health and well-being, housing, social and urban amenity

This article was kindly provided by Dr Judy Kraatz, Senior Research Fellow, Cities Research Centre, Griffith University.