Stable and secure housing is fundamentally important to health and well-being. Historically, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have experienced much higher rates of homelessness and have been overrepresented among clients seeking homelessness and social housing services than non-Indigenous Australians. These higher rates of unstable housing relate to complex and interrelated factors including the lasting impacts of colonisation on Indigenous Australians, exposure to family violence, substance disorders, unemployment, low education levels and poor health—which are both contributors to, and outcomes of, insecure housing circumstances (Flatau et al. 2005; Keys Young 1998; Silburn et al. 2018).

Even though there is still much progress to be made, the findings in this report covering the last 15 years demonstrate the housing situation of Indigenous Australians has improved—with rises in home ownership and housing provided through the private rental market, and falling levels of homelessness.

SOURCE: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019. “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: a focus report on housing and homelessness.” Cat. no. HOU 301. Canberra: AIHW.