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Shelter and housing

Access to adequate shelter and housing is recognised as a basic human need. As well as providing protection from environmental elements and access to facilities such as heating and sanitation, housing gives people a place to enjoy privacy and recreational activities, keep their possessions, spend time with friends and family, and express their identity (ABS 2001a). Housing equity is also a major component of personal wealth.

Shelter and housing are used to describe the housing circumstances of Australians and can be further devidied into three sub dimensions.

  1. Housing tenure relates to the issues of security and stability; home ownership also gives autonomy and a form of social insurance to owners.
  2. Housing affordability affects the broader economic and social wellbeing of individuals and communities.
  3. Homelessness indicates housing deprivation, but as it is influenced by a wide range of social issues (such as mental health and family breakdown) it also provides a gauge of more general social dysfunction.

Indicators in this framework