The availability of affordable, sustainable and appropriate housing helps people with disability to participate in the social, economic and community aspects of life. The absence of such housing can have a number of negative consequences, including homelessness, poor health and lower rates of employment and education.

Living arrangements

  • 95.7% of Australians with disability live at home or in the community, 4.3% live in cared accommodation such as hospitals, nursing homes or group homes for people with disability. [5]
  • 60% of people with disability living in households need assistance with at least one broad area of activity [3]
  • 20% of Australians with disability rent from a state or territory housing authority, compared with 5% of those without disability
  • 24% of Australians with disability live alone, compared to 9.5% of Australians without disability

Social Housing

Social housing is rental housing that is owned or managed by the government or a community organisation

  • 42% of social housing households include a person with disability (at June 2018).
  • 1 in 5 (20%) Australians with disability receive Rental Assistance via the Disability Support Pension (DSP) (at June 2018).

Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS)

People with disability who are homeless or at risk of homelessness can use Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS). These services are funded by government to provide accommodation support to people in need.

  • Around 1 in 11 (9.3% or 23,400) people who use SHS has a disability (in 2017–18).
  • 34% SHS clients with disability has severe or profound disability.
  • 62% SHS clients with disability has a mental health issue
  • 45% SHS clients with disability has experienced domestic or family violence
  • 6% SHS clients with disability has experienced repeat homelessness


Sources: Except where stated otherwise, data is taken from the AIHW Report 2019: Australians with Disability.
[1] VicDeaf.  [2] PWC, 2011 ‘Disability expectations – investing in a better life, a strong Australia.’
[3] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aur.2016.  [4] Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4).
[5] Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2018

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