The 2001 Community Housing and Infrastructure Needs Survey (CHINS) collected selected information on Indigenous organisations that provide housing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The information collected from these organisations, referred to as Indigenous Housing Organisations or IHOs, included details of the housing stock, dwelling management and selected income and expenditure arrangements. The 2001 CHINS also collected information on the status of housing, infrastructure, education, health and other services available in discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia.
In the 2001 CHINS, information was collected for 616 IHOs which managed a total of 21,287 permanent dwellings. While the total number of IHOs has declined from 707 in the 1999 CHINS, the number of permanent dwellings managed by these organisations has increased by 5%, reflecting a trend towards fewer and larger IHOs.
In the 2001 CHINS, information was also collected for 1,216 discrete Indigenous communities, slightly fewer than the 1,291 in the 1999 survey. This decline was largely due to a number of communities that had a small population in 1999 being found to be unoccupied at the time of the 2001 CHINS, and which were not expected to be reoccupied within 12 months. A total of 16,960 permanent dwellings were reported in discrete Indigenous communities, an increase of 801 permanent dwellings since the 1999 survey. The total reported usual population of all discrete Indigenous communities in 2001 was 108,085, slightly less than the 109,994 reported in 1999.
The following chart provides information about the number of Indigenous Housing Organisations and the dwellings they manage. It also provides information about the number of discrete Indigenous communities and their reported populations.
Indigenous Housing Organisations
The 2001 CHINS collected information from 616 IHOs, a decrease from 707 in the 1999 survey. Each IHO managed an average of 35 permanent dwellings in 2001 compared to an average of 29 permanent dwellings in 1999. This trend towards fewer but larger IHOs is reflected in the 32% decrease in the number of IHOs managing less than 10 permanent dwellings.
Results from the 2001 CHINS show a small improvement in the condition of permanent dwellings managed by IHOs since the 1999 CHINS was undertaken. However, the latest survey still indicated that a large proportion of dwellings - more than one in four - were in poor condition, needing major repair or replacement.
The total amount of rent received by IHOs in the financial year prior to the survey increased by 15% between the 1999 and 2001 CHINS. In contrast, the total expenditure on repairs and maintenance increased by only 1% in the same period.
Selected findings in relation to IHOs and their housing stock were:
Discrete Indigenous communities
A total of 1,216 discrete Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities were covered in the 2001 CHINS, a decrease from 1,291 in the 1999 survey.
These communities had 16,960 permanent dwellings and a total reported population of 108,085.
While many problems with housing and infrastructure in discrete Indigenous communities were reported, a number of improvements since the 1999 CHINS have been observed. These include a reduction in the proportion of people living in temporary dwellings, an increase in the proportion of permanent dwellings connected to water, power and sewerage systems and a reduction in sewerage system overflows and leakages.
The frequency of health professionals working in communities also changed between the 1999 and 2001 CHINS. While Indigenous health workers were reported to be working less frequently in communities in 2001, doctors were practising on a more frequent basis. Flooding and drainage issues were again reported as major problem areas with a substantial number of communities reporting flooding, ponding and cuts to road access.
Selected findings in relation to discrete Indigenous communities were:
- The total permanent dwelling stock under IHO management had increased from 20,270 in 1999 to 21,287 in 2001;
- 27% of IHO managed permanent dwellings were reported to be in need of major repair or replacement, a drop from the 29% reported in 1999;
- 30% of permanent dwellings managed by discrete community IHOs required major repair or replacement, a decrease from 33% in 1999. However, the proportion of permanent dwellings managed by urban IHOs in need of major repair or replacement, increased from 16% to 18% over the same period;
- repairs and maintenance were undertaken on 73% of IHO managed permanent dwellings during the financial year prior to the survey, compared with the 70% reported in the 1999 CHINS;
- the total reported maintenance expenditure for the financial year prior to the survey was $39.6 million, up slightly from the $39.0 million reported in 1999;
- the average maintenance expenditure per IHO managed permanent dwelling was $1,870, a decrease from the $1,957 reported in 1999;
- the total reported rental income collected for the financial year prior to the survey was $42.1 million, an increase from the $36.5 million reported in 1999;
- the average weekly rent received per IHO managed permanent dwelling was $38, an increase from the $35 reported in 1999; and
- 95% of IHOs received rent during the financial year prior to the survey, an increase from the 89% reported in 1999.
- 889 Indigenous communities reported a usual population of less than 50, down from 943 in 1999;
- 145 Indigenous communities reported a usual population of 200 or more, little change from 149 in 1999. The combined population of these larger communities represented 71% of people living in discrete Indigenous communities, a 2% increase from the 1999 figure;
- 31% of IHO managed permanent dwellings in discrete Indigenous communities were reported to be in need of major repair or replacement, a decrease from 33% in 1999;
- 87% of people living in discrete Indigenous communities had a primary school located less than 10 kilometres from their community;
- 53% of people living in discrete Indigenous communities did not have a hospital within 100 kilometres of their community, however 88% of these people had access to a medical emergency air service; water quality was either not tested, or had failed testing in the 12 months prior to the survey, in 46% of the 213 Indigenous communities which had a population of 50 or more and were not connected to a town water supply. This is a decrease from 52% of such communities in 1999; and
- overflows or leakages from sewerage systems in the 12 months prior to the survey occurred in 48% of Indigenous communities with a population of 50 or more, affecting 1,520 (11%) permanent dwellings, a drop from 59% of communities and 2,428 (18%) permanent dwellings affected in 1999.
Map Of Indigenous Housing Organisations
Map Of Discrete Indigenous Communities By Usual Population
Map Of Discrete Indigenous Communities By Remoteness