The purpose of this glossary is to define terms commonly used in our research. It is a reference to familiarise you with housing-specific terms in our publications and on our website.
This glossary is limited to terms and acronyms most used by Australian academics and governments.
All entries are listed in alphabetical order, including acronyms (which are cross-referenced with their corresponding definition.) Click on the appropriate letter to see listing.
If you have any comments or feedback on this glossary, please contact us.
The Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey is a household-based panel study which began in 2001. It collects information about economic and subjective wellbeing, labour market dynamics and family dynamics.
More information https://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/hilda
The Australian Bureau of Statistics definition states that when a person does not have suitable accommodation alternatives they are considered homeless if their current living arrangement: is in a dwelling that is inadequate has no tenure, or if their initial tenure is short and not extendable does not allow them to have control of, and access to space for social relations.
One or more persons, at least one of whom is at least 15 years of age, usually resident in the same private dwelling. The people in a household may or may not be related. They must live wholly within one dwelling.
A general term, used in reference to the whole housing system, expressing the relationship between housing costs (prices, mortgage payments or rents) and household incomes.
housing affordability stress (30:40 indicator or ratio approach)
Households in the bottom 40 per cent of the income distribution paying more than 30 per cent of their gross income on mortgage or rent payments are considered to be in housing affordability stress.
A loosely defined situation whereby house prices rise (due to increased demand or reduced supply or both), thereby creating a financial environment that attracts investors which causes prices to rise further.
The movement of a household into different tenures across the life cycle.
The range of benefits that a household can obtain from its housing including affordability, security, amenity.
A term commonly used in Canada and defined as follows.
A household is in housing need if its housing falls below at least one of the adequacy, affordability or suitability, standards and it would have to spend 30 per cent or more of its total before-tax income to pay the median rent of alternative local housing that is acceptable. Adequate is reported by residents as not requiring any major repairs. Affordable housing costs less than 30 per cent of total before-tax household income. Suitable housing has enough bedrooms for the size and make-up of resident households, according to National Occupancy Standard (NOS) requirements.
Also see greatest need
Forms of housing tenure that lie between the standard tenures of social rental, private rental and home ownership (e.g. shared equity).