Dire consequences: Waiting for social housing in three Australian states

Taylor and Francis Group
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Housing Studies, 2023, pp. 1-22
Issue Date:
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Although tens of thousands of households are on the waiting-list for social housing in Australia, little is known about how they experience waiting for social housing. Drawing on 75 interviews conducted with people on the waiting-list (waitees) in three Australian states, we examine the impact of waiting on waitees utilising the concept of triple precarity. Double precarity refers to the insecure employment and housing that a substantial proportion of low-income households are experiencing in the contemporary period. We argue that waitees experience triple precarity. Not only are waitees unemployed or intermittently employed and suffer from housing stress and insecurity, but they also have to endure endless waiting. This adds another challenging dimension to their already difficult lives. We show that besides the impacts of insecure housing and employment, waiting for social housing contributes to waitees’ dire living circumstances and quality of life, difficulty finding employment and poor health. Waiting for social housing has emotional and material costs.
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