Some improvements seen in Indigenous housing but still more to be done
A report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that although levels of overcrowding and access to essential services, such as power, water and sewerage improved for Indigenous Australian households during the period 2001-2006, homelessness and affordability levels remained about the same, and the overall condition of dwellings deteriorated.
The report Indigenous housing needs 2009: a multi-measure needs model presents a model of Indigenous housing need based on AIHW analysis of data from the 2006 Census, the ABS Community Housing Infrastructure and Needs Survey, and the Commonwealth Rent Assistance program. It estimates that around 10,000 additional dwellings were required in 2006 to address Indigenous housing need, including homelessness, affordability, access to essential services, dwelling condition, and notably, to reduce overcrowding.
'Analysis of 2006 data showed that the proportion of Indigenous Australians living in overcrowded housing was much higher than for non-Indigenous Australians,' said Geoff Neideck, Head of the AIHW's Housing and Disability Group.
'Indigenous Australians experienced homelessness at a rate almost four times that of non-Indigenous Australians,' he said.
Remote areas continued to have the highest proportion of dwellings requiring major repair or replacement, while affordability need was more prominent in major cities.