2076.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2016  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/02/2018   
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HOUSING TENURE, HOUSING AFFORDABILITY, AND HOUSING SUITABILITY

HOUSING TENURE

In the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, 56 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dwellings were rented, 26 per cent were owned with a mortgage and 12 per cent were owned outright. This is largely unchanged from 2011.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households in capital cities were slightly less likely to be renting (54%) than households in the rest of Australia (58%). The Northern Territory had the highest rental rate with 75 per cent of dwellings rented. Tasmania had the lowest proportion of rented dwellings with 40 per cent.

Across all States and Territories, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households were between 1.7 and 2.4 times more likely than other households to live in rented dwellings.

Graph Image for Tenure Type, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Households, 2011 to 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Includes dwellings being purchased under a shared equity scheme, dwellings being occupied rent-free, dwelling being occupied under a life tenure scheme and dwellings with other tenure types.;

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2011 and 2016



Respondents were also asked about how they rented their dwelling. Most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households rented through a real estate agent (43%). A further 32 per cent rented from State and Territory housing authorities and 14 per cent rented privately from a person not in the same household.

What does the Census tell us about housing?

The Census collects a range of data about dwellings, which can be used to provide a picture of housing in Australia. Data on dwelling is collected both through enumeration processes and the Census form.

During enumeration key characteristics about dwellings including their location, structure and type are collected. The Census form asks respondents to provide information on the dwelling’s tenure, housing costs and some further key characteristics such as the number of bedrooms in the dwelling and internet accessibility.

For more information on dwelling data available from the Census, please see the Census Dictionary.

MEDIAN MORTGAGE AND RENT PAYMENTS

Aboriginal and Torres Strait households with a mortgage paid a median monthly payment of $1,660. Households in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory had the highest median mortgage payment ($2,167), while households in Tasmania had the lowest median payment ($1,300).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households that were rented had a median monthly rent payment of $1,083. Households rented in the Australian Capital Territory had the highest median monthly rent ($1,560), while households rented in the Northern Territory had the lowest median payment ($420).

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

Census data can be used to provide a measure of the proportion of a household’s income that is spent on mortgage or rent repayments. This measure is imperfect due to the limited income data collected by the Census, however it does provide an indication of housing affordability.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households that owned with a mortgage were less likely than other households to be paying more than 30 per cent of household income on their mortgage (5% compared to 7%). Households in Western Australia were most likely to be in mortgage stress (6%), primarily due to levels of mortgage stress in urban areas (6%). Householders in the Northern Territory were least likely to be in mortgage stress (3%), however it is important to consider this in the context of the low rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households with mortgages in the Northern Territory (12%).

Graph Image for Mortgage Stress (a) by Section of State (b), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Households, Australia, 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Mortgage Stress is defined as households that, based on their Census responses paid more than thirty per cent of household income on mortgage payments. Excludes households where proportion of income spent on mortgage payments couldn't be determined. (b) Areas are deemed to be urban if they have a population of more than 1,000 people. Areas are deemed to be non-urban if they are a bounded locality of between 200 and 1,000 people or are in a rural area. Non-urban areas do not include migratory, offshore or shipping.

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016




Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households that rented were almost twice as likely as other households to be paying more than 30 per cent of household income on rent. This is driven by high levels of rental stress in urban areas in all States and Territories. Households in Queensland were most likely to be in rental stress (25% of all households) closely followed by households in New South Wales (24%) and South Australia (24%). Households in the Australian Capital Territory were least likely to be in rental stress (14% of all households).

Graph Image for Rental Stress (a) by Section of State (b), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Households, Australia, 2016

Footnote(s): a) Rental Stress is defined as households that, based on their Census responses paid more than thirty per cent of household income on rent payments. Excludes households where proportion of income spent on rental payments couldn't be determined. b) Areas are deemed to be urban if they have a population of more than 1,000 people. Areas are deemed to be non-urban if they are a bounded locality of between 200 and 1,000 people or are in a rural area. Non-urban areas do not include migratory, offshore or shipping.

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing




HOUSING SUITABILITY

The ABS introduced a new Housing Suitability measure for the 2016 Census. It is calculated based on the number of bedrooms in a dwelling and the household's demographics. This measure is based on the Canadian Nation Occupancy Standard (CNOS), which is widely used both in Australia and internationally. For more information on this measure please see the the Census Dictionary.

In the 2016 Census, almost one fifth of persons living in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households (18%) lived in dwellings that required one or more additional bedrooms. Overcrowding was worse in non-urban areas (28%) than in urban areas with (16%).

The Northern Territory had the highest level of overcrowding with 53 per cent of dwellings requiring one or more additional bedrooms, followed by Western Australia (20%) and Queensland (17%). The Australian Capital Territory had the lowest level of overcrowding with 9 per cent of dwellings requiring one or more additional bedrooms.

Graph Image for Housing Suitability by Section of State (a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Households, 2016

Footnote(s): (a) Areas are deemed to be urban if they have a population of more than 1,000 people. Areas are deemed to be non-urban if they are a bounded locality of between 200 and 1,000 people or are in a rural area. Non-urban areas do not include migratory, offshore or shipping.;

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016




NON-PRIVATE DWELLINGS

While the majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons counted on Census night were staying in private dwellings (95%), approximately 30,000 were enumerated in non-private dwellings. The Census defines a non-private dwelling as an establishment which provides a communal type of accommodation such as boarding houses, hotels, hospitals and prisons.

Of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons counted non-private dwellings on Census night, 36 per cent were in prisons, 12 per cent in hotels, motels or bed and breakfasts, 11 per cent in staff quarters and 10 per cent were in boarding schools.

2016 Census data showed that 1 in 60 persons who identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in the Census were counted in prisons compared to 1 in 749 persons who identified as non-Indigenous.

Despite making up 3 per cent of the total population, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represented 27 per cent of persons counted in prisons on Census night.


Graph Image for Non-Private Dwelling Type on Census Night, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Australia, 2016

Source(s): ABS Census of Population and Housing, 2016