Social v affordable housing – what’s the difference?

April 15, 2019

At Link Housing, we understand that many people are struggling to afford rent prices in Sydney. We also believe that everyone deserves a home – so we provide a range of housing assistance services to help. This includes social housing and affordable housing.

Both types of housing have the same goal – to provide safe, good quality and affordable homes. But they also have key differences that are important to know. So what’s the difference between social housing and affordable housing?

Social Housing

Social housing is available to people on very low to low household incomes. These people are typically struggling to afford rent, often on the brink of homelessness. Link Housing provides this in partnership with the NSW Government’s Family and Community Services (FACS) department through Housing Pathways. Find out if you could be eligible for Link Housing’s Social Housing.

Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is available to those on low incomes like Social Housing, but it’s also open to people on moderate incomes who are struggling to afford basic living costs. 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 for ‘key workers’ – people working full-time in an essential service such as a police officer, a nurse or a child care worker. Affordable housing rents are often set as a discount of the market rent, and is usually priced between 20 and 25% below market rental prices in the area. Find out if you could be eligible for Link Housing’s Affordable Housing.

How to apply for… Social Housing

If you want to apply for Social Housing, you need to go through NSW’s Housing Pathways. This is the way all housing assistance applications are managed in NSW. You can apply:

  • online via Housing Pathway’s form
  • by phone on 1800 422 322 to the House Contact Centre, open 24/7. (Have your Medicare number and Centrelink details to hand.)
  • in person by downloading the application form and taking it to a Link Housing office, or any Housing NSW office.

How to apply for… Affordable Housing

If you want to apply for Affordable Housing, you can apply directly with Link Housing. Either:

If you have any other questions, or you want to find out more about what Link Housing does, take a look at our community housing options or give our team a call on (02) 9412 5111.