Housing partnership: title transfers, housing quality and tenant outcomes

Working in partnership with Aboriginal Housing Victoria, our researchers are investigating the impact of the devolution of ownership of housing assets from the government to a private, Aboriginal community organisation.

The Effect of Title Transfers on Housing Quality and Tenant Outcomes

Working in partnership with Aboriginal Housing Victoria (AHV), researchers from the Melbourne Institute and the Melbourne School of Design are investigating whether the devolution of ownership of housing assets from the government to a private, Aboriginal community organisation improves the quality of those assets and leads to better tenant outcomes.

AHV provides housing services to Aboriginal Victorians through its management of more than 1500 properties and, until July 2016, owned a modest number of those properties, with the Victorian State Government owning the rest.

However, from July, 2016, the government began transferring the titles, and ownership, of its properties to AHV through a staged process, with about 500 properties transferred at each stage.

Using administrative data from AHV’s information management systems, the research team is comparing property characteristics and tenant outcomes before and after each stage of title transfers, as well as separately for properties that do and do not transfer.

The project is being supported by the Melbourne Social Equity Institute and the Faculty of Business and Economics.

Impact

The title transfer is an exciting and long-sought development for AHV, expected to provide the organisation with the flexibility to better develop the properties, clarify responsibility for maintenance and upgrades, and, more generally but most importantly, improve housing services and housing outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians.

The title transfer to AHV is occurring in the context of other transfers that have taken place throughout Australia since the mid-2000s but that have had little formal assessment.

The rigorous evidence from this study could help make a policy case for transferring additional properties to other organisations in the future.

Investigators

Jan Kabatek, Melbourne Institute

Andy Krause, Melbourne School of Design

Andrew Martel, Melbourne School of Design

Ilan Wiesel, Melbourne School of Design