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Who needs affordable housing?

Many different people need affordable housing and for lots of different reasons. This may include people who work full- or part-time in lower paid jobs, where their household income is not high enough to pay market rent in the area in which they live and/or work. This is sometimes the case even for people working full-time in an essential service such as a police officer, a nurse or a childcare worker[1], particularly if they are just starting out in their career or supporting a family on only one income.

People may also need affordable housing because a change in their lives has impacted on their financial circumstances – for example, a household member has lost their job, a family has separated, a family moves to a single income household after a baby is born or a spouse has died.

Affordable housing is sometimes only needed for a short- or medium-term period, depending on the life changes a household is experiencing. Over time, the household’s circumstances or income may change again and some households may re-enter the private rental market or purchase a home. For example, the primary income earner may progress in their career or a family on one income moves to two incomes.

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Last updated: 10 Apr 2024