The Victorian Housing Commission also began building homes for low-income rental in 1939, as well as embarking on a major slum clearance scheme.
By 1942 housing was seen as one of the main pillars of post-war reconstruction and there were high public expectations of government action to remedy housing shortages and abolish slums.
The commissions would also provide houses for purchase or leasing by 'economic' tenants.
Like Barnett and Burt, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Social Security placed a great deal of emphasis on healthy housing and the abolition of slums.
At the state level, housing commissions were established in South Australia (1936), Victoria (1938) and New South Wales (1942).
The South Australian Housing Trust took the lead in providing rental housing to low-income earners and its early achievements exerted a strong influence on wartime housing inquiries and social reformers.
In its fourth report (May 1942), it recommended that the Commonwealth immediately undertake the task of planning and research towards establishing a national housing scheme.
In 1919 the Commonwealth Government set up the War Service Homes Commission, which assisted ex-servicemen to obtain loans for the acquisition or erection of homes.
In November 1942 Arthur Tange wrote an extensive memorandum on the building industry, in which he suggested a post-war target of 68,000 houses per annum.
In their book (1942), FO Barnett and WO Burt estimated that the housing shortage in Australia amounted to 112,000, while 46,000 houses were unfit for human habitation and should be demolished.
They saw a need for a Commonwealth Housing Commission, but it would be state housing commissions which would have the task of abolishing slums, determining minimum standards, zoning residential and other areas, and providing housing at a rental within the capacity of lower-income tenants.
The was designed to assist potential home owners by empowering the Commonwealth Savings Bank to advance funds to housing authorities, but the scheme lapsed during the Depression.
In 1941 the government created the Commonwealth War Workers Housing Trust to provide housing for munitions workers and other war workers.