The housing careers of Indigenous urban households

Summary

This research involved an ethnographic study of the housing careers of extended kin groups of Indigenous Australians in Perth, Carnarvon and Broome. It found that the strongest forces shaping the housing careers of urban Indigenous Australians are long term poverty, family and neighbourhood violence and social housing accessibility and management practices. The study found that the crisis in affordability and vacancy rates created considerable anxiety for those studied, and often resulted in overcrowding where individuals and families were forced to choose between homelessness and living with kinfolk. For many the ideal housing career was considered to be securing a Homeswest (public rental) home, in preference to all other rental options because it provides security of tenure for the household. Housing aspirations were shaped by family history however, and where a history of home ownership existed, younger generations were more likely to aspire to home ownership.

Project number: 80317
Research theme(s): Indigenous housing
Project leader: Birdsall-Jones, Christina
Funding year: 2005
Research Centre: Western Australia

Research and Policy Bulletin

Research & Policy Bulletin

Issue 098: Understanding the housing careers and aspirations of urban Indigenous households

The strongest forces shaping the housing careers of urban Indigenous Australians are long-term poverty, family and neighbourhood violence, and social housing accessibility and management practices.

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Description

This research involved an ethnographic study of the housing careers of extended kin groups of Indigenous Australians in Perth, Carnarvon and Broome. It relates housing moves to housing aspirations and examines how factors such as life stage, employment, family/community responsibilities and housing assistance have affected Indigenous housing careers.

  • The ideal housing career was viewed as a Homeswest (public rental) home. This was in preference to all other rental options with the objective of achieving security and longevity of leasing arrangements aimed at ensuring that the household would have a home for the whole term of its life cycle.
  • Anxiety resulting from the current crisis in affordability and vacancy rates produced strong feelings of attachment and ownership towards rental homes.
  • Overcrowding is another outcome of the crisis in affordability and vacancy rates, as individuals and families are forced to choose between homelessness and living with often large numbers of kinfolk.
  • Where a family history of home ownership existed. This was found to shape housing aspirations by creating the possibility of home ownership for younger generations.

Download now Research and Policy Bulletin: Issue 098: Understanding the housing careers and aspirations of urban Indigenous households
141 KB PDF Document

Download now Positioning Paper: No. 095: Aboriginal housing careers in Western Australian towns and cities
1.9 MB PDF Document

Download now Final Report: No. 112: The housing careers of Indigenous urban households
1 MB PDF Document