Aboriginal lifeworlds, conditionality and housing outcomes


This Multi-Year Research Project (MYRP) is a timely contribution to national policy debates concerned with reducing Indigenous disadvantage and improving housing outcomes.

Project Number: MYRP705
Research Theme(s): Indigenous housing
Project Leader: Memmott, Paul
Funding Year: 2012
Research Centre: AHURI—The University of Queensland


A key consideration is the way housing assistance is used to foster certain social norms and associated behaviours. This 'conditionality' mirrors the general use of reciprocity arrangements or obligations in social policy generally and specifically in social housing provision. This study considers how conditionality in housing policy and management contributes to positive housing outcomes and what modes of conditionality are most effective and in which contexts.

Of critical importance is the role of Indigenous cultural and social norms—including kinship obligations and reciprocity—in developing social capital and improvements in housing outcomes, and whether they are in harmony—or conflict—with conditions informing housing assistance. A key hypothesis to be tested is that for positive outcomes, an 'intercultural recognition space' is required involving mutual recognition of the moral relationships of duty and care between housing administrators, Indigenous community leaders and tenants.

The study will comprise five case studies, staged over three years, covering remote, regional city and metropolitan settings, and involving data collection and analysis of four project variables (conditionalities, social capitals, recognition spaces, and housing outcomes). A key feature of the study is active engagement with the policy community and provision of findings to inform policy and programs. There will also be active engagement with the different Indigenous communities in the case study areas including the dissemination of findings to Indigenous community organisations and government housing personnel at the regional, state and national levels.

AHURI events involving this project