Benefits of community housing
A proven model
International evidence shows that growing the community housing sector is a successful way of increasing the supply of low-cost housing. Over the last few decades many countries, including Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA, have increased the size of their community housing sectors. Governments overseas have moved towards working in partnership with the community housing sector, rather than directly providing housing themselves, for a number of reasons.
Better value for money
The sector can provide better value for money as it is able to leverage government funding with funding from a range of private and public resources, and can borrow against the properties it owns. This allows government funding to go further and meet a greater proportion of unmet need.
The money invested in community housing remains in community ownership.
Community housing organisations have greater freedom than the public sector to be flexible and innovative in providing a range of different types of housing, including shared equity and low cost home ownership. This flexibility also makes them better placed to address specialised and complex housing needs or work closely with organisations that do.
Local or regionally based organisations can be responsive to the housing needs in their local community and provide the range of services needed. Community housing organisations know and understand their local communities.
The sector is independent from government and therefore less subject to short-term political influence than public sector housing providers. They can therefore take a longer-term approach to managing their businesses to meet the housing and support needs of their communities, unlike public housing organisations whose governance, management and operations are subject to the ideology or policies of the government at the time.
Better outcomes for people and communities
UK and Australian research has found that community housing organisations achieve better outcomes for tenants, including better quality stock, greater tenants involvement, more customer-focussed services and strengthened communities.
Community housing organisations benefit from the goodwill and voluntary input of local professional business and community leaders.