Centre for Affordable Housing

How is affordable housing different to social housing?

Affordable housing is not the same as social housing.

Affordable housing is open to a broader range of household incomes than social housing, so households can earn higher levels of income and still be eligible. Households do not have to be eligible for social housing to apply for affordable housing, though people who are eligible for social housing may also be eligible for affordable housing properties.

Affordable housing is managed more like a private rental property, but there are eligibility criteria and the managers are mostly not for profit community housing providers. When there is a vacancy for an affordable housing property, this is usually advertised and people submit an application to the manager as they would if they were applying for a property in the private rental market.. Some managers may keep waiting lists if there is no vacancy, but this is not required.

Rents for affordable housing are usually calculated differently to social housing and there are different tenancy arrangements. Generally, affordable housing tenants cannot transfer between properties and household members cannot apply to succeed a tenancy.

Some affordable housing properties are available to people who are also eligible for social housing and on the NSW Housing Register. If someone on the NSW Housing Register is eligible and accepts a tenancy in an affordable housing property, they will be removed from the NSW Housing Register.