Social housing developments rank among the most valuable forms of housing currently available on the national market. RMIT researchers have found, in fact, that—beyond the financial benefits of this form of housing—social housing ‘pays off’ in a vast variety of ways.

Indeed, it was found that social housing residents also benefit from well-being, security of tenure and social inclusion.

In determining the true value of cost benefits, it must be determined as to whether or not a particular social housing situation provides a better outcome than rental subsidies. Also considered will be the location of the social housing project, the specific combination of housing categories to be included in the project (apartments, standalone houses, townhouses etc.), and the direct benefits that specific groups will attain as a direct result of the new housing.

This specific body of research even discovered that alternatives to cost benefit analysis should be considered when studying this form of housing.

‘Avoided cost’, for example, takes into consideration the amount of money that the government is saved in regards to health, justice and social services when people at risk of homelessness receive adequate housing. ‘Housing adjusted life years,’ meanwhile, takes into consideration the effect that a state of homelessness can have on shortening a person’s life expectancy and reducing their overall quality of life.

No doubt about it: Social housing projects, beyond saving money, even save lives as well.