2008.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Nature and Content, Australia, 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/08/2015   
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This topic provides information about tenure type (whether a dwelling is rented, owned with a mortgage or owned without a mortgage). Data on tenure type is used for planning, analysis and policy purposes; to monitor housing security, mobility issues and home ownership trends; and as a part of estimating/calculating homelessness and homelessness indicators. When cross-classified with other characteristics of households, this information is used to inform housing and social welfare policy and planning by the government and other providers.


Data about whether a dwelling is owned, being purchased or rented have been collected in all Censuses since 1911.

From 1971 until 1991, information on type of tenure was derived from the answers to more than one question. A single, direct question was used to determine type of tenure for the Censuses of 1996 and 2001 and more detailed responses were listed, enabling collection of details on a greater variety of tenancy/financial arrangements than in previous Censuses.

Since 2006, the question on tenure type has differentiated between owners with and without a mortgage, rather than whether a dwelling was owned outright or being purchased, in order to remain consistent with the current ABS statistical standard for tenure type. In the 2016 Census, the response category Being purchased under a rent/buy scheme was changed to refer to Being purchased under a shared equity scheme, to better reflect current arrangements.


It should be noted that the data gathered from tenure type questions cannot serve as a measure of housing stock, as the questions relate only to occupied dwellings.


The following question is from the 2016 Census Household Paper Form

Image: question 56 on the paper 2016 Census Household Form.