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4720.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: Users' Guide, 2008  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2010   
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HOUSING AND MOBILITY


OVERVIEW

This chapter provides information on the following topics collected in the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS):

  • household characteristics - household facilities, maintenance and structural problems, and rent/mortgage payments; and
  • mobility - length of time in current dwelling and movement from previous dwelling.

Housing information is available on two different levels:
  • household level; and
  • selected persons level.

For more information on file levels refer to Output file in the Survey design chapter.


HOUSEHOLD CHARACTERISTICS

Information was provided by the household spokesperson on behalf of the entire household. Information on the household level includes:

Tenure type, landlord type and housing costs

Tenure type refers to the nature of a household's legal right to occupy the dwelling in which the household members usually reside. Tenure is determined according to whether the household owns the dwelling outright, owns the dwelling but has a mortgage or loan secured against it, is paying rent to live in the dwelling or has some other arrangement to occupy the dwelling. Landlord type refers to the type of entity to whom rent is paid or with whom the tenure contract or arrangement is made.

The household spokesperson was asked a series of questions to determine the tenure type of the household. They were asked if, at the time of interview, the house/dwelling was:
  • rented by anyone in the household; or
  • being paid off by anyone in the household; or
  • owned outright by anyone in the household; or
  • being purchased under a rent/buy or shared equity scheme; or
  • occupied under a life tenure scheme; or
  • occupied rent free; or
  • whether anyone in the house/dwelling was paying board to live there.

Tenure type was classified as follows:
  • Owner without a mortgage - the house/dwelling was owned outright by anyone in the household.
  • Owner with a mortgage - the house/dwelling was being paid off by anyone in the household and was not being purchased under a rent/buy or shared equity scheme, or the household spokesperson did not know if it was being purchased under a rent/but or shared equity scheme.
  • Life tenure scheme - the house/dwelling was occupied under a life tenure scheme.
  • Participant of rent/buy or shared equity scheme - the house/dwelling was being paid off by anyone in the household and/or being purchased under a rent/buy or shared equity scheme.
  • Renter - the house/dwelling was being rented by anyone in the household.
  • Rent-free - the house/dwelling was occupied rent-free.
  • Other - where none of the above categories apply, including where anyone in the house/dwelling was paying board to live there.
  • Not stated - the household spokesperson did not state whether the house/dwelling was being rented by anyone in the household.

Renters were asked who they/members of the household pay rent/board to, based on the following:
  • real estate agent;
  • State or Territory housing authority;
  • parent/other relative not in same dwelling;
  • other not in same dwelling;
  • parent/other relative in same dwelling;
  • other person in same dwelling;
  • Defence Housing Authority employer;
  • Government employer;
  • other employer;
  • owner or manager of a caravan park;
  • housing co-operative or church group;
  • Indigenous housing organisation/community housing;
  • other; or
  • don't know.

For households that were rented, information on their usual rent/board payments was collected. The household spokesperson was asked to provide the:
  • amount of the usual rent/board; and
  • period covered by that amount (weeks or months).

If the spokesperson did not know how much rent/board was usually paid, the weekly rent for the household was recorded as 'not known'.

For households with a mortgage, information on weekly mortgage repayments was collected. This included households being paid off under a life tenure scheme and participants of rent/buy or shared equity schemes. The household spokesperson was asked whether, at the time of interview, payments were being made on any mortgages or secured loans on the dwelling. If payments were being made, they were asked for the:
  • amount of the usual repayment; and
  • period covered by that amount.

If the spokesperson did not know how much the usual repayments were, the weekly mortgage repayment for the household was recorded as 'not known'. If payments were not being made at the time of interview, the weekly mortgage repayment for the household was recorded as 'has mortgage but no current payment'.

Comparison to the 2002 NATSISS

In 2002 the question about whether payments were being made on any mortgages or secured loans at the time of interview, was asked as part of the tenure type questions. In 2008, this question was asked as part of the mortgage repayments questions. In 2008 there were a small number of households where tenure type was classified as 'owner with mortgage' and weekly mortgage repayments was recorded as 'has mortgage but no current payment'. In 2002, all 'owner with mortgage' households were households which were making payments on mortgages or secured loans at the time of interview.

In 2002, only households in non-community areas were asked whether they were a participant of a rent/buy or shared equity scheme, while in 2008, this information was collected for all households.

The information on landlord type and weekly rent payments is comparable for the 2002 and 2008 surveys.


Housing utilisation

The 2008 NATSISS provides information on housing utilisation based on the Canadian National Occupancy Standard for Housing Appropriateness, a widely used measure that is sensitive to both household size and composition. The following criteria are used to assess bedroom requirements and households requiring at least one additional bedroom are considered to be overcrowded:
  • there should be no more than two persons per bedroom;
  • a household of one unattached individual may reasonably occupy a bed-sit (i.e. have no bedroom);
  • couples and parents should have a separate bedroom;
  • children aged less than 5 years, of different sexes, may reasonably share a room;
  • children aged 5 years or over, of different sexes, should not share a bedroom;
  • children aged less than 18 years and of the same sex may reasonably share a bedroom; and
  • single household members aged 18 years or over should have a separate bedroom.

The household spokesperson was asked how many bedrooms there were in the house/dwelling. The number of bedrooms required to meet the Canadian National Occupancy Standard for Housing Appropriateness was assessed, based on information about the household composition, including:
  • the number of people living in the household; and
  • their age, sex and relationship to one another.

The housing utilisation data item provides an assessment of the number of bedrooms in the house/dwelling and the required number of bedrooms. The output categories are:
  • at least 4 more bedrooms needed;
  • 3 more bedrooms needed;
  • 2 more bedrooms needed;
  • 1 more bedroom needed;
  • none required/none spare;
  • 1 bedroom spare;
  • 2 bedrooms spare;
  • 3 bedrooms spare;
  • 4 or more bedrooms spare; or
  • not known.

Comparison to the 2002 NATSISS

The 2002 NATSISS collected information on the number of bedrooms and the number of bedrooms required, however, a Housing utilisation data item based on the Canadian National Occupancy Standard for Housing Appropriateness was not created.


Household facilities, maintenance and structural problems

These questions were designed to provide indicators of housing adequacy, in accordance with Measuring Wellbeing: Frameworks for Australian Social Statistics, 2001 (cat. no.4160.0). Housing adequacy can encompass a wide range of dwelling attributes including:
  • the dwelling's structural quality;
  • its need for repair; and
  • the presence, or absence, of basic amenities.

Facilities

The 2008 NATSISS collected information on the types of basic household facilities considered important for a healthy living environment, including those that:
  • assist in washing people, clothes and bedding;
  • safely remove waste; and
  • enable the safe storage and cooking of food.

The household spokesperson was asked whether any of the listed household facilities were not available or were not working. Not working is where the item is unable to be used and includes instances where the item works but there is no power or fuel supply available for it to be useable. More than one response was allowed. Response categories included:
  • stove/oven/other cooking facilities;
  • fridge;
  • toilet;
  • bath or shower;
  • washing machine;
  • kitchen sink;
  • laundry tub; or
  • none of these.

Maintenance

The 2008 NATSISS collected information on the types of household maintenance and repairs that had been carried out in the 12 months prior to interview, and whether dwellings had any major structural problems. Maintenance and repair work includes any work undertaken with the purpose of either preventing deterioration or repairing something to its original condition. For example, replacing an old fence, replacing broken roof tiles or re-painting internal walls. It does not include alterations or additions to the dwelling.

In non-remote areas the household spokesperson was asked whether, in the 12 months prior to interview, any of the listed types of repairs or maintenance had been carried out on the dwelling. In remote areas the household spokesperson was asked whether anybody had done any of the listed things to fix any parts of the house. While the wording of response categories differed slightly between non-remote and remote areas, responses were treated the same. More than one response was allowed from the following:
  • painting;
  • roof repair/maintenance;
  • tile repair/maintenance;
  • electrical work;
  • plumbing;
  • other types of repairs or maintenance;
  • no/none; or
  • don't know.

Major structural problems

The household spokesperson was also asked about any major structural problems that existed. In non-remote areas, people were asked whether the dwelling has any of the listed major structural problems, while in remote areas people were asked if the house had any of the listed problems, that need to be fixed. More than one response was allowed from the following:
  • rising damp (non-remote only);
  • major cracks in walls/floors;
  • sinking/moving foundations;
  • sagging floors;
  • walls or windows that aren't straight;
  • wood rot/termite damage;
  • major electrical problems;
  • major plumbing problems;
  • major roof defect;
  • other major structural problems; or
  • no structural problems.

Rising damp was only included as a major structural problem in non-remote areas. To allow the presentation of data for both remote and non-remote areas, the following comparison data items have been created:
  • Whether has major structural problems; and
  • Type of major structural problems.

In these remote/non-remote comparison data items, households in non-remote areas whose only major structural problem was rising damp have been recorded as having no structural problems.

Comparison to the 2002 NATSISS

Information on household facilities, maintenance and structural problems was collected in the 2002 NATSISS. In 2002, data on household facilities relates to the presence of working facilities, while in 2008 data relates to the absence of working facilities. In 2002 people were also asked whether they had adequate kitchen cupboard and bench space as part of the household facilities questions.

There are minor differences between the published data on major structural problems from the 2002 and 2008 NATSISS. In 2008, rising damp was only included as a major structural problem in non-remote areas. In 2002, rising damp was only included as a major structural problem for households in non-community areas. As there were a small number of remote non-community households that reported rising damp as a major structural problem in 2002, these were excluded from data published in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 (cat. no. 4714.0), to enable comparisons to the 2008 remote/non-remote data items.

The information on household maintenance is comparable between the 2002 and 2008 surveys.


Community facilities

The household spokesperson was asked about the availability of community facilities such as sporting, recreational and medical services. People were asked if their suburb/town/community has any of the following facilities (or locations) available when needed. More than one response was allowed. Response categories included:
  • outdoor playing fields and play areas (including playgrounds);
  • swimming pool (indoor or outdoor);
  • indoor sports centre for games;
  • Aboriginal health care service;
  • hospital;
  • any other medical clinic or centre;
  • emergency service (including ambulance, flying doctor);
  • community hall/centre;
  • schools;
  • supermarket/shop with fresh food;
  • petrol station;
  • pharmacy/chemist;
  • police station;
  • school bus service;
  • taxi service;
  • all of the above; or
  • none of these.

Comparison to the 2002 NATSISS

This information was not collected in 2002.


MOBILITY

Information on the selected persons level about mobility includes:

Whether moved house and length of time in current and previous dwelling

Information on the length of time a person had lived in their current dwelling, and whether they had moved house in the five years prior to interview was collected for all selected persons. For children aged 0-14 years this information was collected via proxy. People were asked if they had lived in their current house for:
  • less than 1 year;
  • one year or more; or
  • entire life.

Where a child aged less than 12 months had lived in their current house for less than 1 year, the proxy was asked if this was the only house the child had ever lived in. If so, the response was recorded as 'entire life'. People who had lived in their current house for one year or more were asked how many years they had lived there.

People who had moved house in the five years prior to interview (ie those who had been living in their current house for 1 to 5 years) were asked about the house they lived in immediately before their current house. People were asked if they had lived there for:
  • less than 1 year; or
  • one year or more.

People who had lived in their previous house for one year or more were asked how many years they had lived there. They were also asked about the location of their previous house in relation to their current house, and whether it was:
  • in the same suburb/town/community; or
  • in the same state or territory:
  • in the capital city;
  • in another town;
  • in another community, outstation or homeland; or
  • other; or
  • in a different state or territory:
  • in the capital city;
  • in another town;
  • in another community, outstation or homeland; or
  • other.

If a person's previous house was not in a capital city, the location of previous house was recorded as 'other than capital city'. People who had moved interstate were asked which state or territory their previous house was in.


Reasons for moving house

People who had moved house in the five years prior to interview were asked about the main reason for moving. At the broad level, the main reasons for moving include:
  • housing;
  • employment;
  • health education;
  • family;
  • lifestyle; and
  • other reason.

The main reason for moving house was collected separately for children and adults to allow for more age-specific response categories. For a full list of the main reasons for moving house, see the data item list, released in spreadsheet format with this publication.

Proxies of children aged under 15 years and who usually attended school were asked if the child changed schools because of the move.


Comparison to the 2002 NATSISS

The 2002 NATSISS collected limited information on mobility during the 12 months prior to interview, for people aged 15 years and over. Data available from the 2002 survey includes:
  • the number of dwellings lived in during the 12 months prior to interview (not collected in 2008); and
  • the main reason for last move (for people who had moved house one or more times during the 12 months prior to interview).

In 2008, the main reason for last move relates to people who had moved house in the five years prior to interview, and includes some additional response categories as well as some modified response categories. Additionally, in 2002 some of the response categories were only collected in non-community areas.

More detailed information on the 2002 survey data is provided in the output data item list, available from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: Data Reference Package, 2002 (cat. no. 4714.0.55.002).


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