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In 2008, more than two-thirds (69%) of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over lived in a rented property. Indigenous people living in remote areas were much more likely to be renting, with 85% reporting this type of tenure. Indigenous people in major cities were over five times more likely than those in remote areas to live in a dwelling that was owned with a mortgage (27% and 5% respectively). They were also twice as likely to live in a dwelling that was owned outright (10% compared to 5%).
Between 2002 and 2008, the tenure type for Indigenous people aged 15 years and over did not change significantly for those living in a dwelling that was:
However, the proportion of Indigenous people who lived in a dwelling that was owned with a mortgage increased from 17% in 2002 to 20% in 2008.
Comparison to non-Indigenous people
The following table provides a comparison between Indigenous people from the 2008 NATSISS and non-Indigenous people from the 2007-08 Survey of Income and Housing (SIH). The underlying concepts used to collect data on tenure type in the 2007-08 SIH are similar to the 2008 NATSISS, but there are differences between the two surveys that should be considered when making comparisons. See Appendix 1 for more information.
In 2008, Indigenous people aged 15 years and over were much less likely to live in a dwelling that was owned with a mortgage or owned outright than non-Indigenous people (29% and 72% respectively). Indigenous people were correspondingly more likely to be living in rented dwellings (69% compared to 26%).
It is possible that part of the observed differences in household tenure type may be explained by the differing age structures of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations (aged 15 years and over), with the average age of the Indigenous population being younger (35.4 years and 44.4 years respectively). However, because of the size of the differences, even after adjusting for age there are likely to still be substantial differences.
(a) Data from the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey.
(b) Data from the 2007–08 Survey of Income and Housing.
(c) Includes life tenure scheme, participant of rent/buy (or shared equity) scheme, rent-free, other tenure and arrangements that were not stated.
The 2008 NATSISS provides information on housing utilisation based on the Canadian National Occupancy Standard for Housing Appropriateness. This widely used measure is sensitive to both household size and composition. Using this measure, households that require at least one additional bedroom are considered to experience some degree of overcrowding. Overcrowding can put stress on bathroom, kitchen and laundry facilities, as well as on sewerage systems. More information on housing utilisation is provided in the Glossary.
In 2008, one-quarter (25%) of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over lived in a dwelling where one or more additional bedrooms was required. Compared to 2002, this proportion has not changed significantly (26%). In 2008, almost half (48%) of Indigenous people living in remote areas required additional bedrooms, compared to 20% in regional areas and 13% in major cities.
Almost one-third (32%) of Indigenous children aged 4-14 years and a similar proportion (31%) of children aged 0-3 years lived in dwellings that required one or more additional bedrooms. Of children aged 4-14 years in remote areas, 59% lived in dwellings that required additional bedrooms, as did a similar proportion (54%) of children aged 0-3 years.
STANDARD OF HOUSING
In 2008, almost three in ten (28%) Indigenous people aged 15 years and over lived in dwellings that had major structural problems. Types of structural problems included: major cracks in walls or floors; major plumbing problems; and wood rot or termite damage. Almost four in ten (39%) people living in remote areas experienced structural problems.
7.3 INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN DWELLINGS WITH MAJOR STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS(a), by remoteness area - 2002 and 2008
The proportion of people living in dwellings with major structural problems decreased from 38% in 2002 to 28% in 2008. This decrease corresponded with an increase in the proportion of dwellings which had repairs and maintenance carried out in the 12 months prior to interview. Types of repairs included: painting; roof repair; electrical work; and plumbing. Types of maintenance carried out included: fixing the roof; replacing tiles; electrical work; and fixing pipes, taps or drains. In 2008, almost six in ten (58%) Indigenous people aged 15 years and over lived in housing where repairs and maintenance had been carried out in the 12 months prior to interview.
Types of basic facilities, considered important for a healthy living environment, include those that assist in washing people, clothes and bedding; safely removing waste; and enabling the safe storage and cooking of food. In 2008, 13% of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over lived in households where one or more facilities were not available or did not work. This proportion varied across remoteness areas, with more than three times the proportion (28%) of Indigenous people living in remote areas reporting problems with household facilities, as Indigenous people living in regional areas (9%) or major cities (8%).
In 2008, Indigenous people living in the Northern Territory were twice as likely (31%) to live in a household lacking basic facilities, as people living in South Australia (16%) or Western Australia (15%).
7.4 INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN HOUSEHOLDS LACKING BASIC FACILITIES(a), by state or territory of usual residence - 2008
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