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Chapter 2.4 Purpose 4 Housing

Increased housing supply, improved community housing, and assisting individuals experiencing homelessness through targeted support and services.

Summary and analysis of Outcome 4 performance

The policy tools to support the availability of affordable and stable housing for low and moderate-income households are shared between the Australian Government and state and territory jurisdictions. These tools include: finance, regulation and tax settings, and planning and zoning policy. More broadly, factors such as housing market performance and labour market conditions are important influences on housing opportunities and outcomes. We work with the Australian Government Treasury and state and territory housing departments, including through the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA), to improve housing and homelessness outcomes.

We fund the development of targeted housing developments, such as the 100 new affordable and social homes in Greater Hobart and Safe Places program under the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.

Key results

In the past year, some of our contributions to improving outcomes for increasing housing supply, improving community housing and assisting individuals experiencing homelessness include:

  • delivered over $4.6 billion in Commonwealth Rent Assistance payments to help more than 1.3 million individuals and families renting in the private rental market or living in community housing. Outcome 1 (Table 2.1.12) reports on the impact of Commonwealth Rent Assistance in reducing the incidence of rental stress[1] for social security payment or Family Tax Benefit recipients
  • together with the Australian Government Treasury, delivered around $1.6 billion through the NHHA to improve housing and homelessness outcomes across Australia. Through the NHHA, the Australian Government is improving funding for homelessness by ensuring homelessness funding previously provided through short-term agreements is ongoing and indexed. This will result in dedicated homelessness funding that needs to be matched by states and territories
  • leading development of a housing and homelessness data improvement plan with states and territories and Commonwealth agencies, to ensure housing outcomes can be reliably measured in the future and government funds can be directed to the most effective measures
  • strengthened the regulatory framework for administering the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS)
  • together with states and territories and the Australian Government Treasury, progressed the review of the National Regulatory System for Community Housing to ensure a well-governed, well-managed and viable sector that meets the housing needs of tenants and provides assurance for governments and investors.

[1] Commonwealth Rent Assistance recipients are considered to be in rental stress if rent is more than 30 per cent of income.

Outcome 4 Programs and Key Activities

Outcome 4 comprises two programs and two activities contributing to the achievement of the Housing outcome. The policy tools to support the availability of affordable and stable housing for low and moderate-income households are shared between the Australian Government and state and territory jurisdictions. These tools include: finance, regulation and tax settings, and planning and zoning policy. More broadly, factors such as housing market performance and labour market conditions are important influences on housing opportunities and outcomes. We work with the Australian Government Treasury and state and territory housing departments, including through the NHHA, to improve housing and homelessness outcomes.

Table 2.4.1: Outcome 4 Programs and Key Activities

OUTCOME 4 – HOUSING

Refer to Table 2.4.2 for program performance results

Program 4.1

Housing and Homelessness

Program 4.2

Affordable Housing

Key activities

  • National Housing and Homelessness Agreement

Key activities

  • National Rental Affordability Scheme

Refer to Table 2.4.3 for index of key activities performance results

Performance Results of Programs

This section describes the 2019–20 results of the program performance measured through agreements in place with relevant service providers.

C4.3 Extent to which delivery meets program objective

This criterion assesses whether funds have been spent consistent with the program objective, with a focus on appropriate delivery of the payments.

C4.3.1 Program performance criteria and associated milestones/standards

Table 2.4.2: Program performance criteria and associated milestones/standards

Intermediate outcome performance measure

PBS performance criteria

Target

2019–20

2018-19

2017–18

Program 4.1: Housing and Homelessness

Delivery by organisations is in accordance with specified requirements, which may include service level standards, of the contracts and agreements between organisations and the department

Milestone/standard: Standard of delivery is performed in accordance with the terms and conditions of Homes for Homes’ and Hobart City Deal contracts and agreement with the department

Met

Met

Met

Program 4.2: Affordable Housing

Delivery complies with relevant legislation to ensure that incentives are issued accurately to approved participants who comply with the regulations, so NRAS dwellings are made available at reduced rents for eligible low and moderate-income households

Milestone/standard:

Incentives are only issued when compliance to the regulations has been adhered to

Result: 34,509 incentives were issued to approved participants in accordance with the regulations for the 2018–19 NRAS year

Meta

Metb

Metc

Program 4.3: Program Support for Outcome 4

Total departmental funding for Outcome 4

Milestone/standard:

Departmental funding is expended to achieve agency outcomes

$22.482m

$19.139m

$18.545m

a 34,509 incentives were issued to approved participants in accordance with the regulations for the 2018–19 NRAS year.

b 34,924 incentives were issued to approved participants in accordance with the regulations for the 2017–18 NRAS year.

c 34,061 incentives were issued to approved participants in accordance with the regulations for the 2016–17 NRAS year.

Performance Analysis of Outcome 4 Programs

For Outcome 4 our performance criteria (as outlined in the 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements) is about delivery in compliance with contracts, agreements and legislation.

The contracts and agreements contain the service level standards and expectations between the department and the organisation delivering the services to best effect the increase of housing supply, improved community housing and assisting individuals experiencing homelessness.

For 2020–21 there will be a continued focus on this effect with a performance criterion focused on states and territories delivering and meeting their requirements under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement.

There will also be a continued focus on delivering the NRAS in compliance with legislation, including processing of compliance statements within 60 days. The NRAS makes dwellings available at reduced rents for eligible low and moderate income households by issuing incentives to approved participants. Results provided relate to compliance being met and demand data related to number of incentives issued and percentage of dwellings that were paid an incentive.

Performance Results of Key Activities

This section describes the performance of the key activities in Outcome 4. The table below outlines our Corporate Plan performance criteria and indicators for Outcome 4, which show how we intend to measure what we achieved, how well we did, and how much we did. Not all activities report against every performance criterion.

Table 2.4.3: Cross program performance criteria for Outcome 4 – Housing

Programs: 4.1 Housing and Homelessness; 4.2 Affordable Housing

Measure Hierarchy

Performance criteria

Indicator/Output

Program Reference

Results Table Index

Outcome — What did we achieve?

C4.1 – Extent of improvement in rental affordability for low and moderate-income households

C4.1.1 – Percentage of National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) households in rental stress before and after NRAS discounted rent

4.2

2.4.4

Intermediate Outcome — How well did we do?

C4.2 – Extent of contribution to national initiatives

C4.2.1 – the department’s contribution to Commonwealth/State agreements for housing and homelessness

4.1, 4.2

2.4.5

C4.3 – Extent to which delivery meets program objective

C4.3.1 – Program performance criteria and associated milestones/standards (PBS)

4.1, 4.2

2.4.2

C4.3.2 – Percentage of NRAS dwellings paid an incentive for the relevant NRAS year (PBS)

4.2

2.4.6

Output — How much did we do?

C4.4 – Delivery measures

C4.4.1 – Number of incentives issued for the relevant NRAS year (Cash and Refundable Tax Offsets (RTO)) (PBS)

4.2

2.4.7

Source: Corporate Plan 2019–20 and Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20.

C4.1 Extent of improvement in rental affordability for low and moderate-income households

This criterion comprises one similar indicator for measuring improved rental affordability for low and moderate-income households. The indicator enables an assessment of whether the provision of discounted rents through the NRAS improves rental affordability for those assisted. Rental affordability supports individuals and families from becoming homeless and supports those experiencing homelessness to transition into stable housing.

C4.1.1 Percentage of National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) households in rental stress before and after NRAS discounted rent

This indicator reports on the impact of providing dwellings under NRAS at lower than market rents (a rate that is at least 20 per cent less than market rent). For the purposes of this indicator, an NRAS household is considered to be in rental stress when rent is more than 30 per cent of gross income.[1] This may not reflect actual rental stress.

Analysis

NRAS has increased the availability of affordable rental housing to low and moderate-income households and has reduced the rent for dwellings in the scheme. As at 30 April 2019[2], NRAS reduced the proportion of NRAS households in rental stress by over 21 percentage points.

Table 2.4.4: Percentage of NRAS households in rental stress before and after NRAS discounted rent

Outcome performance measure

2018–19
NRAS year

2017–18
RAS year

2016–17
NRAS year

Affordable Housing

Percentage of NRAS households in rental stress before and after NRAS discounted rent

  • Before

82.2%

84.1%

85.7%

  • After

60.5%

61.3%

62.1%

C4.2 Extent of contribution to national initiatives

This criterion captures the high-level contribution to the larger effort made by state jurisdictions, local communities, and other government agencies.

C4.2.1 The department’s contribution to Commonwealth/State agreements for housing and homelessness

We work closely with other government agencies and states and territories to develop policy options to increase housing affordability, increase the supply of social and affordable housing, and reduce the level of homelessness.

Analysis

Other mechanisms for cross-jurisdictional housing policy and delivery in 2019–20 include the NHHA, the Review of the National Regulatory System for Community Housing and City Deals, such as the Hobart City Deal. Reporting on performance against the NHHA is managed by the Productivity Commission.

The almost $1.6 billion a year NHHA commenced on 1 July 2018. In 2019–20, under the NHHA, we chaired a Commonwealth–state Data Improvement Plan for improved, nationally consistent data on housing and homelessness which was endorsed by housing and homelessness senior officials from the Commonwealth and all states and territories.

As part of the 2017–18 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the Australian Government agreed to work with state and territory governments to assist the growth of the community housing sector through a review of regulation.

Table 2.4.5: The department’s contribution to Commonwealth/state agreements for housing and homelessness

Intermediate outcome performance measure

2019–20

2018–19

2017–18

Cross Program

The department’s contribution to Commonwealth/state agreements for housing and homelessness

Reviewed annual statements of assurance and chaired Data Improvement Plan under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement

Chaired Data Improvement Plan under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement

Contributed to development of National Housing and Homelessness Agreement that commenced on
1 July 2018

C4.3 Extent to which delivery meets program objective

This criterion assesses whether funds have been spent consistent with the program objective, with a focus on appropriate delivery of the payments.

C4.3.2 Percentage of NRAS dwellings paid an incentive for the relevant NRAS year

This indicator measures the compliance outcomes of approved participants to ensure they meet the regulatory requirements of the scheme.

Table 2.4.6: Percentage of NRAS dwellings paid an incentive for the relevant NRAS year

Intermediate outcome performance measure

2018–19
NRAS year

2017–18
NRAS year

2016–17
NRAS year

Affordable Housing

Percentage of dwellings that were paid a full incentive for the relevant NRAS year

92.7%

94.2%

95.8%

Percentage of dwellings that were paid a partial incentive for the relevant NRAS year

5.0%

3.7%

2.8%

4.4 Delivery measures

4.4.1 Number of incentives issued for the relevant NRAS year (Cash and Refundable Tax Offsets (RTO))

A total of 34,509 incentives were issued for the 2018–19 NRAS year.

Table 2.4.7: Number of NRAS incentives issued for the relevant NRAS year (Cash and Refundable Tax Offsets (RTO))

Output performance measure

2018–19
NRAS year

2017–18
NRAS year

2016–17
NRAS year

Affordable Housing

Number of NRAS incentives issued for the relevant NRAS year
(Cash and Refundable Tax Offsets (RTO)):

  • Cash

12,385 a

11,773

9,076

  • RTO

22,124 a

23,167

24,985

a Results for the 2018–19 NRAS year (1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019) are reported, as full payment data for 2019–20 were not available at time of publication.

[1] NRAS households may receive Commonwealth Rent Assistance. This is included in gross income as the amount of Commonwealth Rent Assistance received is not separately identified.

[2] Results for the 2018–19 NRAS year (1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019) are reported, as full occupancy and payment data for 2019–20 were not available at time of publication.