Note: Habitat for Humanity Australia does not accept furniture donations outside of Victoria. Thank you!
Individuals served in FY19: 530
Volunteers engaged in FY19: 2,435
- Capital: Canberra
- Main country facts: Gained independence in 1901
- Population: Over 25.7 million
- Life expectancy: 82.5 years
- Unemployment rate: 5.2 percent
Source: World Bank
Habitat for Humanity in Australia
Habitat for Humanity’s Australian programs are delivered through State Partners in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. Habitat works with low-income families to achieve the dream of building and owning their own safe, secure home. In Australia, Habitat also assists disadvantaged families through its repair and maintenance program, Brush with Kindness. Internationally, Habitat Australia works in partnership with communities across the Asia-Pacific region to address housing poverty and to support integrated community development. Habitat Australia and its partners are currently working in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Myanmar, Nepal and Vietnam.
The housing need in Australia
Australia has a deficit of more than 600,000 social and affordable homes. The shortfall is projected to be in excess of 1 million by 2036. Over 1.5 million Australians are living in housing stress, due to the rising rates in the private rental market and the extreme lack of affordable housing. According to national statistical data in 2016, there are 116,427 Australians living with homelessness, an increase of 13.7% in the past five years. The lack of affordable housing is a key contributor to this figure. The cost of land, materials and construction has continued to rise, especially in the capital cities and major regional centers. A 2019 report by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute said the government needed to build at least 200,000 additional homes over the next 10 years to meet the needs of very low-income households.
How Habitat addresses the need in Australia
New home constructions
To date, Habitat for Humanity Australia and the low-income families we partner with have together built over 220 homes. This is made possible through the donation of money, construction materials and land, and the contribution of volunteer labor. Future homeowners contribute 500 hours of their own time in the planning and construction phases. This is called ‘sweat equity’ and is recognized in the 5% discount on market value that is returned to them. Families partner with Habitat in the construction of their homes, building an average of 10 homes a year in Australia.
Brush with Kindness
Habitat Australia runs Brush with Kindness activities across New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria states. The volunteer-based program addresses the shelter needs of vulnerable groups including young people recovering from drugs and alcohol abuse, women escaping domestic violence, and newly arrived refugees. It also serves as a vehicle for engaging corporate volunteer teams in a “backyard blitz” style activity. Habitat currently mobilizes about 400 volunteers per year through the Brush with Kindness program.
Developing holistic communities
Habitat Australia’s international program is designed to address multi-dimensional aspects of poverty and recognizes the key role adequate housing plays in sustainable development. The program is targeted at both the community and sectoral levels and works to address needs at multiple stages on the housing value chain. It includes projects focused on water, sanitation and hygiene, disaster risk reduction, urban development, market development and land tenure. Together with its partners, Habitat Australia supports projects in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Myanmar, Nepal and Vietnam.