4720.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: User Guide, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/05/2016   
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HOUSING AND MOBILITY


Overview

This chapter provides information on:

  • Household characteristics—household facilities, maintenance and structural problems, and rent/mortgage payments; and
  • Mobility—length of time in current dwelling and movement from previous dwelling.

Household characteristics

Household characteristics are household level data items. The information was collected in a variety of ways, including:
  • information recorded by interviewer from observation;
  • information was provided by a community spokesperson, with information being applied to all households within that community; and
  • information was provided by the household spokesperson on behalf of the entire household.

Dwelling structure information was recorded by the interviewer at the time of the interview.

Dwelling structure

Dwelling structure refers to the type of dwelling such as house, flat or unit, and was recorded under the following categories:
  • separate house;
  • semi-detached row or terrace house, townhouse, etc.—one storey;
  • semi-detached row or terrace house, townhouse, etc.—two or more storeys;
  • flat/apartment in a one or two storey block;
  • flat/ apartment in a three storey block;
  • flat/apartment in a four or more storey block;
  • flat/apartment attached to a house;
  • caravan/cabin/houseboat/tent in caravan park ;
  • caravan not in caravan park/houseboat not in a marina etc;
  • improvised home/camped out; and
  • house or flat attached to shop, office, etc.

Some household level information was provided by varying methods, depending on whether the household was in a discrete Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander community or not. Information collected in this manner included:
  • community facilities available;
  • whether alcohol is allowed to be drunk in community; and
  • whether a job services/training provider available in community.

For each of these, information was collected from a community spokesperson (usually an officer at the council office or equivalent) for houses that were in discrete Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities. The information collected was then applied to all households within that community. For households in remote areas that were not in a discrete community, a household spokesperson from each household provided information. Information was not collected in non-remote areas that were not in a discrete community and this data has only been output for remote areas.

Community facilities available

The community facilities questions were asked in remote areas (information was also collected in non-remote discrete communities but output only in remote areas). The community or household spokesperson was asked about the availability of community facilities such as sporting, recreational and medical services. People were asked if their suburb/town/community has any of the following facilities (or locations) available when needed. Response categories included:
  • outdoor playing fields and play areas (including playgrounds);
  • swimming pool (indoor or outdoor);
  • indoor sports centre for games;
  • Aboriginal health care service;
  • hospital;
  • any other health or medical clinic or centre;
  • emergency service (including ambulance, flying doctor);
  • community hall/centre;
  • schools;
  • supermarket/shop with fresh food;
  • petrol station;
  • pharmacy/chemist;
  • police station;
  • school bus service;
  • taxi service;
  • community phone;
  • all of the above; and
  • none of these.

More than one response was allowed. In discrete communities, the question was in reference to that community. In non-remote communities, wording of the question included the phrase, 'suburb/town/community'. The area that the question applied to was left to the interpretation of the respondent.

The community or household spokesperson was also asked whether:
  • alcohol is allowed to be drunk in the community; and
  • there is a job services provider that helps unemployed people find jobs or provides training.

For both questions, the possible responses were yes, no, or don't know. The alcohol question referred to 'this community'. For people not living is discrete communities, the interpretation of the word 'community' was left to the respondent. The question about job services providers referred to 'this community' in discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. For people not living in discrete communities, the wording was 'the place where you live', the interpretation of which was left to the respondent.

Household level information provided by a household spokesperson included:
  • tenure and landlord type;
  • satisfaction with services provided by public housing service provider;
  • rent and mortgage payments;
  • housing utilisation—including number of bedrooms and number of bedrooms required; and
  • household facilities, maintenance and structural problems.

Tenure and landlord type

Tenure type refers to the nature of a household's legal right to occupy the dwelling in which the household members usually reside. Tenure is determined according to whether the household owns the dwelling outright, owns the dwelling but has a mortgage or loan secured against it, is paying rent to live in the dwelling or has some other arrangement to occupy the dwelling. Landlord type refers to the type of entity to whom rent is paid or with whom the tenure contract or arrangement is made.

The household spokesperson was asked a series of questions to determine the tenure type of the household. They were asked if, at the time of interview, the house/dwelling was:
  • rented by anyone in the household;
  • being paid off by anyone in the household;
  • owned outright by anyone in the household;
  • being purchased under a rent/buy or shared equity scheme;
  • occupied under a life tenure scheme;
  • occupied rent free; or
  • whether anyone in the house/dwelling was paying board to live there.

Tenure type was classified as follows:
  • Owner without a mortgage—the house/dwelling was owned outright by anyone in the household;
  • Owner with a mortgage—the house/dwelling was being paid off by anyone in the household and was not being purchased under a rent/buy or shared equity scheme, or the household spokesperson did not know if it was being purchased under a rent/but or shared equity scheme;
  • Life tenure scheme—the house/dwelling was occupied under a life tenure scheme;
  • Participant of shared equity scheme—the house/dwelling was being paid off by anyone in the household and/or being purchased under a rent/buy or shared equity scheme;
  • Renter—the house/dwelling was being rented by anyone in the household;
  • Rent-free—the house/dwelling was occupied rent-free;
  • Other—where none of the above categories apply, including where anyone in the house/dwelling was paying board to live there; or
  • Not stated—the household spokesperson did not state whether the house/dwelling was being rented by anyone in the household.

Renters were asked who they/members of the household pay rent/board to, based on the following:
  • real estate agent;
  • State or Territory housing authority;
  • person not in the same dwelling—parent/other relative;
  • person not in the same dwelling—other person;
  • employer—Defence Housing Authority;
  • employer— government;
  • employer—other;
  • owner/manager of a caravan park;
  • housing co-operative or church group;
  • Indigenous housing organisation/community housing/council;
  • other; or
  • don't know.

Satisfaction with services provided by public housing service provider

For households that rented from a state/territory housing authority or Indigenous housing organisation/community housing/council, the household spokesperson was asked about their satisfaction with services provided by the housing provider. The possible response options were:
  • very satisfied;
  • satisfied;
  • neither satisfied nor dissatisfied;
  • dissatisfied; and
  • very dissatisfied.

Rent and mortgage payments

For households that were rented (except rent-free), information on their usual rent/board payments was collected. The household spokesperson was asked to provide the:
  • amount of the usual rent/board; and
  • period covered by that amount (weeks or months).

The usual rent payment was output as a dollar value per week. If the spokesperson did not know how much rent/board was usually paid, the weekly rent for the household was recorded as 'not known'.

For households with a mortgage, information on weekly mortgage repayments was collected. This included households being paid off under a life tenure scheme and participants of rent/buy or shared equity schemes. The household spokesperson was asked whether, at the time of interview, payments were being made on any mortgages or secured loans on the dwelling. If payments were being made, they were asked for the:
  • amount of the usual repayment; and
  • period covered by that amount.

Mortgage repayments were output as a dollar value per week. If the spokesperson did not know how much the usual repayments were, the weekly mortgage repayment for the household was recorded as 'not known'. If payments were not being made at the time of interview, the weekly mortgage repayment for the household was recorded as 'has mortgage but no current payment'.

Housing utilisation

The 2014–15 NATSISS provides information on housing utilisation based on the Canadian National Occupancy Standard for Housing Appropriateness, a widely used measure that is sensitive to both household size and composition. The following criteria are used to assess bedroom requirements and households requiring at least one additional bedroom are considered to be overcrowded:
  • there should be no more than two persons per bedroom;
  • a household of one unattached individual may reasonably occupy a bed-sit (i.e. have no bedroom);
  • couples and parents should have a separate bedroom;
  • children aged less than 5 years, of different sexes, may reasonably share a room;
  • children aged 5 years or over, of different sexes, should not share a bedroom;
  • children aged less than 18 years and of the same sex may reasonably share a bedroom; and
  • single household members aged 18 years or over should have a separate bedroom.

The household spokesperson was asked how many bedrooms there were in the house/dwelling. The number of bedrooms required to meet the Canadian National Occupancy Standard for Housing Appropriateness was assessed, based on information about the household composition, including:
  • the number of people living in the household; and
  • their age, sex and relationship to one another.

The housing utilisation data item provides an assessment of the actual number of bedrooms in the house/dwelling compared with the number of bedrooms required in the dwelling (based on the Canadian National Occupancy Standard for Housing Appropriateness). The output categories for the number of extra bedrooms required are:
  • at least four more bedrooms needed;
  • three more bedrooms needed;
  • two more bedrooms needed;
  • one more bedroom needed;
  • none required/none spare;
  • one bedroom spare;
  • two bedrooms spare;
  • three bedrooms spare;
  • at least four bedrooms spare; or
  • not known.

Household facilities, maintenance and structural problems

Facilities

The 2014–15 NATSISS collected information on the types of basic household facilities considered important for a healthy living environment, including those that:
  • assist in washing people, clothes and bedding;
  • safely remove waste; and
  • enable the safe storage and cooking of food.

The household spokesperson was asked whether any of the listed household facilities were not available or were not working. Not working is where the item is unable to be used and includes instances where the item works but there is no power or fuel supply available for it to be useable. More than one response was allowed. Response categories included:
  • stove/oven/other cooking facilities;
  • fridge;
  • toilet;
  • bath or shower;
  • washing machine;
  • kitchen sink;
  • laundry tub; or
  • none of these.

The following data items were derived based on the availability of the above facilities:
  • whether has working facilities for washing people;
  • whether has working facilities for washing clothes and bedding;
  • whether has working facilities for preparing food; and
  • whether has working sewerage facilities.

Maintenance

The 2014–15 NATSISS collected information on the types of household maintenance and repairs that had been carried out in the 12 months prior to interview, and whether dwellings had any major structural problems. Maintenance and repair work includes any work undertaken with the purpose of either preventing deterioration or repairing something to its original condition. For example, replacing an old fence, replacing broken roof tiles or re-painting internal walls. It does not include alterations or additions to the dwelling.

In non-remote areas the household spokesperson was asked whether, in the 12 months prior to interview, any of the listed types of repairs or maintenance had been carried out on the dwelling. In remote areas the household spokesperson was asked whether anybody had done any of the listed things to fix any parts of the house. While the wording of response categories differed slightly between non-remote and remote areas, responses were treated the same. More than one response was allowed from the following:
  • painting;
  • roof repair/maintenance;
  • tile repair/maintenance;
  • electrical work;
  • plumbing;
  • other types of repairs or maintenance;
  • no repairs/maintenance carried out; or
  • don't know.

Structural problems

The household spokesperson was also asked about any major structural problems that existed. In non-remote areas, people were asked whether the dwelling has any of the listed major structural problems, while in remote areas people were asked if the house had any of the listed problems that need to be fixed. More than one response was allowed from the following:
  • rising damp;
  • major cracks in walls/floors;
  • sinking/moving foundations;
  • sagging floors;
  • walls or windows that aren't straight;
  • wood rot/termite damage;
  • major electrical problems;
  • major plumbing problems;
  • major roof defect;
  • other major structural problems; or
  • no structural problems.

An new output, 'whether household living in house of an acceptable standard', was introduced in the 2014–15 NATSISS. The output is based on the household facilities available in the household and the number of structural problems. A house was deemed to be of an acceptable standard where a house had fewer than three structural problems and had:
  • working facilities for washing people;
  • working facilities for washing clothes or bedding;
  • working facilities for preparing food; and
  • working sewerage facilities.

A house was deemed to be not of an acceptable standard where any of the above facilities were unavailable or there were more than two structural problems.

Comparison to the 2008 NATSISS

Dwelling structure was output for the first time in 2014–15 and is unable to be compared to 2008.

In 2014–15, the questions about available community facilities had a new methodology introduced for those living in discrete communities, where a community spokesperson provided information. In 2008, this question was asked of all household spokespeople. In addition, in 2014–15, a new response category, 'community phone', was added to the question about community facilities available.

The following questions were new in 2014–15 and are unable to be compared to 2008:
  • whether alcohol is allowed to be drunk in community;
  • whether a job services/training provider available in community;
  • the question about satisfaction with services provided by the housing provider; and
  • whether household living in house of an acceptable standard.

Response categories for landlord type were consistent between 2008 and 2014–15, except for the following response categories which were used in 2008 but excluded in 2014–15:
  • parent/other relative in same dwelling; and
  • other person in same dwelling;

In 2008, the question about structural problems in the house did not include the response category, 'rising damp', in remote areas. In 2014–15, all response categories for structural problems were included in both remote and non-remote areas. This impacts on the following data items:
  • whether any major structural problems;
  • types of major structural problems; and
  • whether has a problem with rising damp

Mobility

Information at the person level about mobility includes:
  • whether a person moved house in the five years prior to interview; and
  • reasons for moving house.

Whether moved house and length of time in current and previous dwelling

Information on the length of time a person had lived in their current dwelling, and whether they had moved house in the five years prior to interview was collected for all selected persons. For children aged 0–14 years this information was collected via proxy. People were asked if they had lived in their current house for:
  • less than 1 year;
  • one year or more; or
  • entire life.

Where a child aged less than 12 months had lived in their current house for less than one year, the proxy was asked if this was the only house the child had ever lived in. If so, the response was recorded as 'entire life'. People who had lived in their current house for one year or more were asked how many years they had lived there.

People who had moved house in the five years prior to interview (ie those who had been living in their current house for 1 to 5 years) were asked about the house they lived in immediately before their current house. People were asked if they had lived there for:
  • less than 1 year; or
  • one year or more.

People who had lived in their previous house for one year or more were asked how many years they had lived there. They were also asked about the location of their previous house in relation to their current house, and whether it was in the same suburb/town/community. If it was not in the same suburb/town/community, they were asked whether it was:

In the same state or territory
  • in the capital city;
  • in another town;
  • in another community, outstation or homeland; or
  • other.

Or in a different state or territory
  • in the capital city;
  • in another town;
  • in another community, outstation or homeland; or
  • other.

People who had moved interstate were asked which state or territory their previous house was in.

Reasons for moving house

People who had moved house in the five years prior to interview were asked about the main reason for moving. At the broad level, the main reasons for moving include:
  • housing reason;
  • employment reason;
  • health reason;
  • education reason;
  • family reason;
  • lifestyle reason; and
  • other reason

The main reason for moving house was collected separately for children and adults to allow for more age-specific response categories. For a full list of the main reasons for moving house, see the data item list, released in spreadsheet format within the summary publication via the Downloads tab.

Proxies of children aged under 15 years and who usually attended school were asked if the child changed schools because of the move.

Comparison to the 2008 NATSISS

The 2014-15 NATSISS included minor changes to the detailed categories for main reason for last move. See respective data item lists for details.