Indigenous housing indicators 2007-08, the third report in this series, provides the most recent data on Indigenous housing across Australia. Data are drawn from several sources to report against nationally agreed indicators. It includes indicators on the Indigenous-specific housing programs, Indigenous community housing (ICH) and state owned and managed Indigenous housing (SOMIH), and on Indigenous access to mainstream housing programs, as well as on broader measures, such as tenure type and homelessness.

Housing use

The efficiency and effectiveness of housing services are important indications of whether the objectives of assistance are being met and resources are being used to best advantage.

In 2007-08:

  • there were 36,057 dwellings specifically targeted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • peoples (23,279 for ICH, 12,778 for SOMIH)
  • more than 98% of ICH dwellings and almost 97% of SOMIH dwellings were occupied at 30 June 2008
  • all jurisdictions gave priority to those households in greatest need for the allocation of dwellings.

Adequate housing

There is a strong correlation between inadequate housing and poor health and wellbeing.

Dwellings in poor condition may be unsafe and/or lack essential working facilities, which may affect the health and wellbeing of people living in the dwellings. In 2007-08:

  • almost all ICH dwellings were connected to sewerage, water and electricity (98% each)
  • nationally, 23% of ICH dwellings were in need of major repair, while a further 7% of dwellings were in need of replacement (CHINS 2006). Tasmania had the greatest proportion of dwellings needing major repairs (31%), while the Northern Territory had the greatest proportion of dwellings needing replacement (10%).

Housing management

Indigenous participation in housing management is important to ensure that services are appropriate to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and provides opportunities for self-management. In 2007-08, 80% of people working in Indigenous housing management were Indigenous. Of these, 9% were undertaking, and 11% had completed accredited training.

Cost of housing

Housing costs measure the cost of providing assistance per dwelling. In 2007-08:

  • the net recurrent cost per ICH dwelling was $7,472, and $8,265 per SOMIH dwelling
  • the average maintenance expenditure per dwelling was $4,037 for ICH dwellings, and $3,245 for SOMIH dwellings.