The National Social Housing Survey is a series of biennial surveys designed to gather information on social housing tenants and their housing experiences. The primary purpose of the NSHS is to collect data on the profile of social housing tenants and to record their satisfaction with services provided by their landlords and with the amenity and location of their dwellings.
First undertaken in 1996 with public housing tenants, the NSHS has expanded to include
mainstream community housing tenants (2001) and SOMIH tenants (2005). In 2016, the NSHS sampled tenants of SOMIH, public and community housing programs. To date, Indigenous community housing, while an important form of social housing for Indigenous Australians, has not been covered in the NSHS.
The NSHS complements other data about social housing in Australia, especially administrative data collected by social housing providers and reported by the AIHW. These administrative data provide valuable information about social housing programs, including the stock of dwellings, the characteristics of tenants and the extent to which people in special needs groups are able to access social housing.