Private rent assistance 2013-14 Data Quality Statement

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Quality Statement
METeOR identifier:596617
Registration status:AIHW Data Quality Statements, Archived 31/05/2016

Data quality

Quality statement summary:


All states and territories provide the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) with Private Rent Assistance (PRA) data from their administrative systems.

Care should be taken when comparing data across jurisdictions, given differences in the types of PRA programs run and differences in the broader jurisdictional housing systems.

Care should also be taken when comparing data across time due to changes in the underlying PRA programs and how they are classified.

All states and territories provide PRA and maintain administrative data sets about these programs. These data sets are provided annually to the AIHW. This collection contains data about PRA received during 2013–14 financial year.

Institutional environment:

The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government under the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987 to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare. It is an independent corporate Commonwealth entity established in 1987, governed by a management Board, and accountable to the Australian Parliament through the Health portfolio.

The AIHW aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians through better health and welfare information and statistics. It collects and reports information on a wide range of topics and issues, ranging from health and welfare expenditure, hospitals, disease and injury, and mental health, to ageing, homelessness, disability and child protection.

The Institute also plays a role in developing and maintaining national metadata standards. This work contributes to improving the quality and consistency of national health and welfare statistics. The Institute works closely with governments and non-government organisations to achieve greater adherence to these standards in administrative data collections to promote national consistency and comparability of data and reporting.

One of the main functions of the AIHW is to work with the states and territories to improve the quality of administrative data and, where possible, to compile national data sets based on data from each jurisdiction, to analyse these data sets and disseminate information and statistics.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987, in conjunction with compliance to the Privacy Act 1988, (Cth) ensures that the data collections managed by the AIHW are kept securely and under the strictest conditions with respect to privacy and confidentiality.

For further information see the AIHW website

The AIHW receives, compiles, edits and verifies the data in collaboration with jurisdictions. The finalised data sets are signed off by the jurisdictions and used by the AIHW for reporting and analysis.

Timeliness:The reference period for the PRA data collection is based on the financial year (ending 30 June). Data are collected and published annually. The specific reference period for these data are 2013-14.

Annual data are reported in Housing Assistance in Australia, which is available publicly on the AIHW website.

Users can request additional disaggregations of data which are not available online or in reports (subject to jurisdiction approval) via the AIHW’s online data request system at Requests that take longer than half an hour to compile are charged for on a cost-recovery basis. General enquiries about AIHW publications can be made to the Digital & Media Communications Unit on (02) 6244 1032 or via email to


Metadata and definitions relating to this data source can be found in the National Housing Assistance Data Dictionary (AIHW Cat no. HOU269)

Supplementary information can be found in the PRA data collection manual, which is available upon request from the AIHW at


The data collected are an administrative by-product of the management of PRA programs administered by the jurisdictions and conform well in terms of scope, coverage and reference period.

PRA for the purpose of this collection relates to the provision of financial assistance to enable households to access and maintain accommodation in the private rental market and includes:

  • bond loans
  • rental grants
  • rental subsidies
  • relocation expenses
  • other assistance grants.

The collection excludes non-financial assistance, for example, tenancy support services and tenancy guarantees.


There are known accuracy issues with the data collected.

  • The administrative data sets from which this collection is drawn have inaccuracies to varying degrees including missing data and data coding or recording errors.
  • Not all jurisdictions collect data items as per data specifications.
  • Care should be taken in interpreting the number of households assisted. Some households received multiple types of private rent assistance. These households are counted for each type of assistance received.
  • Collection of Indigenous status of the household is not mandatory within the PRA collection. Approximately 11 percent of households in the 2013-14 collection had an unknown Indigenous status. As a result, caution should be taken when interpreting data for Indigenous people.

Specific State/Territory issues are:

In 2012-13, the number of households assisted through the Victorian Housing Establishment Fund was unavailable at the time of collection. The Victorian Department of Human Services provided estimates based on funding levels and historical data. This was rectified for 2013-14 collection and the actual number of households assisted was provided.


Differences in the data collected and which records are included or excluded from a calculation in different jurisdictions affect the coherence of the output comparisons across jurisdictions.

Coherence over time has been affected by changes in the methodology. For example numbers of households assisted by rental grants, subsidies and relief cannot be compared with figures produced prior to 2011-12 due to a change in methodology.

Specific State/Territory issues are:

New South Wales
For years up to and including 2010-11, Temporary accommodation was included under ‘rental grants, subsidies and relief’. Temporary accommodation was no longer included from 2011-12. Thus, data on the number of households assisted by rental grants, subsidies and relief is not comparable with the data from 2010-11 and earlier reference periods.

From 2011-12, hotel/motel assistance is not included in the collection. Prior to 2011-12, hotel/motel assistance was included under rental grants, subsidies and relief. Thus, the number of households assisted through rental grants, subsidies and relief in 2011-12 and 2012-13 are not comparable with earlier collections.

South Australia
From 2011-12, hotel/motel assistance is reported under ‘other’ assistance. Before 2011-12, hotel/motel assistance was included in rental grants, subsidies and relief. Thus, the number of households assisted through ‘other’ assistance in 2012-13 and 2011-12 are not comparable with earlier collections.

Australian Capital Territory
Data relates to the Housing Assistance Rental Bonds Housing Assistance Program. This program provides assistance with relocation, utility costs and other start up housing costs.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:

Has been superseded by Private Rent Assistance Collection, 2014-15; Quality Statement AIHW Data Quality Statements, Archived 24/05/2017

Supersedes Private rent assistance 2012-13 Data Quality Statement AIHW Data Quality Statements, Archived 05/06/2015