The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute releases.
A national housing report, with input from a University of Tasmania academic, has concluded having a low income is rarely viewed as a necessity for the provision of social housing.
The report from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute has said social housing was allocated on a priority needs basis which viewed homelessness and risk of homelessness as a priority factor, followed by other circumstances which required support like having a disability or escaping violence.
"In practice, this means that having a very low or low income alone is rarely a pathway into social housing," the report said.
"The need for shelter alone is rarely enough to trigger entry into social housing."
It said a lack of affordable housing alternatives put pressure on the sector due to the return of tenants who had previously left the system.
In Tasmania, a single person on a weekly wage of $552 would be eligible for social housing, as would a single adult with a child on a wage of $954 or a couple with two children on $1022 a week.
The report noted Tasmania's efforts to utilise private housing stock for people eligible for social housing such as the government's private landlord's incentive scheme and assistance for social housing tenants to purchase the homes they rent.
It said some states provided no such assistance.
The report said because there had been a shift in prioritising social housing for people with complex needs, the likelihood of households being in a position to move from the social housing sector had decreased and policies did not reflected this.