Public housing wait times

23 February 2017 – Change to wait time calculations

The Department of Housing and Community Development has changed the way it calculates the estimated waiting time for public housing.

The way wait times are calculated is now more accurate. The department calculates the median wait time over a twelve month period. The department changed the way it calculates wait times because people waiting for public housing were consistently being allocated a property in less time than the previous estimated wait times.

Estimated wait times in years as at 31 December 2016 – new, more accurate calculation

Region1 bedroom2 bedroom3 bedroom
Alice Springs2–4 years2–4 years2–4 years
Darwin/Casuarina6–8 years2–4 years4–6 years*
Palmerston6–8 yearsLess than 2 years2–4 years
Katherine4–6 years*2–4 years*2–4 years
Nhulunbuy2–4 years2–4 years*2–4 years*
Tennant Creek4–6 years*6–8 years*6–8 years*

*Due to limited stock and turnover, median value cannot be applied

Estimated wait times in years as at 31 December 2016 – previous method

Table 1: Estimated wait time in years as at 31 Dec 2016 (+1/-1 Method)

Urban Region1 bedroom1 bedroom2 bedroom3 bedroom
(non-pensioner)(pensioner)
Alice Springs8.06.05.8 6.1
Casuarina/Darwin8.78.8 6.15.1
Palmerston7.96.94.13.3
Katherine6.26.04.35.2
Nhulunbuy8.1*9.46.3
Tennant Creek11.18.07.49.8

* There is no designated senior accommodation in Nhulunbuy. All eligible one bedroom applicants are housed from the one bedroom non-pensioner wait list.

Why is the time so different for some regions?

The new way wait times are calculated is by taking the time waited by all general wait list applicants housed over the past 12 months to provide a more accurate median time. The previous way wait times were calculated was based on the time waited by the most recent general applicant during the month. Where a person was allocated a property, a month was subtracted from the previous wait time. Where no allocation is made, a month was added. This led to an over-estimation of the time people were waiting for public housing.

Last updated: 23 March 2017