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4725.0 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth, Apr 2011  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/05/2012  Reissue
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Contents >> Housing and Community Facilities >> Housing conditions


HOUSING AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES: HOUSING CONDITIONS

This article is part of a comprehensive series released as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth.


Note: In this section 'children' refers to people aged 0–14 years. The terms 'youth' and 'young people' refer to people aged 15–24 years. Data presented are from the ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008 (cat. no. 4714.0).

KEY MESSAGES

In 2008:
  • 30% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth were living in homes with structural problems, a decrease from 41% in 2002
  • 13% of children and youth lived in a home with household facilities that were either not available or did not work.

Improvements in housing hardware and condition can lead to better health, particularly for children (Endnote 1). Poor housing conditions and overcrowding are often (although not always) related. Household overcrowding can increase the likelihood of poor housing condition by placing pressure on household infrastructure, which in turn, can contribute to poorer health outcomes (Endnote 2).

STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth were less likely to live in homes with major structural problems in 2008 (30%) than they were in 2002 (41%).

The main types of structural problems in 2008 were:
  • major cracks in the walls or floor (affecting 13% of all children and young people)
  • walls or windows that were not straight, and major plumbing problems (both affecting 8% of children and young people).
In 2008, living in housing with major structural problems was more common for children and young people in remote areas (39%) than for those in regional areas (27%) and in major cities (24%).

Children and youth living in dwellings that had major structural problems were more likely than those living in dwellings without structural problems to also be living in overcrowded conditions (40% compared with 28%).

HOUSEHOLD FACILITIES

In 2008, 13% of all children and youth lived in housing which had household facilities that were either not available of did not work. Most commonly these facilities were ovens or stoves (6%), washing machines (5%) and fridges (3%).

Relatively few children and youth were living in dwellings in which household facilities were either not available or did not work. However, more than one-quarter (27%) of children and youth in remote areas were affected. These differences reflect higher levels of overcrowding in remote areas and the consequent pressure on existing household facilities.

Children and youth living in dwellings in which household facilities were either not available or did not work were more likely than those who were not to also be living in overcrowded conditions (52% compared with 28%).

ENDNOTES

1. Garner, G. 2006. ‘The ecology and inter-relationship between housing and health outcomes’, paper delivered to the International Conference on Infrastructure Development and the Environment, 2006, Queensland University of Technology <www.qut.edu.au> .

2. SCRGSP (Steering Committee for the review of Government Service Provision), 2009, 'Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage – Chapter Nine: Home Environment'. Productivity Commission, Canberra <www.pc.gov.au>.


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