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Private Rent Assistance Collection, 2014-15; Quality Statement

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termQuality Statement
METeOR identifier:Help on this term627461
Registration status:Help on this termAIHW Data Quality Statements, Archived 24/05/2017

Data quality

Quality statement summary:Help on this term


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 2014–15 financial year.

Institutional environment:Help on this term

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, (Commonwealth of Australia) 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:Help on this term

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 is 2014-15.

Accessibility:Help on this term

Annual data are reported in Housing Assistance in Australia 2016, 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 on a cost-recovery basis. General enquiries about AIHW publications can be made to the Digital and Media Communications Unit on (02) 6244 1026 or via email to

Interpretability:Help on this term

Metadata and definitions relating to this data source can be found in the National Housing and Homelessness 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

Relevance:Help on this term

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.

Accuracy:Help on this term

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. In the 2014-15 collection, 5.5 per cent of households had an unknown Indigenous status. As a result, caution should be taken when interpreting data for Indigenous people.
  • Caution is also advised when reviewing Indigenous status of the household as a household receiving more than one type of assistance can sometimes be reported with two different statuses.

Specific State/Territory issues:


  • For the years up to and including 2012-13, unit record data could not be provided for households assisted under the housing establishment fund. As such, estimates were provided for these households, which were based on funding levels and historical data. From 2013-14, estimates were no longer provided. Thus, care is advised when reviewing data for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 collection years with that of previous years.


  • The increase in the number of instances of assistance provided to households with a principal household income source of other allowances for students and the unemployed may be the result of more accurate recording of income types.
  • The reduction in the number of households with income source as 'other' is likely to be due to improved recording of income types.

Western Australia

  • Historically, Indigenous status was voluntarily reported. This is likely to have contributed to variation across reporting periods. During the 2014-15 reporting period, systems were changed for better data validation which may have resulted in improved data quality for Indigenous status.
  • In addition, improvements have been made to the process through which income-related data is entered and validated. The new process provides an increased selection of income types. This is likely to enhance the accuracy of any mapping to national codes.
  • Increase in households NOT experiencing rental stress reflects changes in market rent. Increased property vacancies resulted in a reduction of market rents.

Australian Capital Territory

  • For the 2014-15 reporting period, gross income details are not known for all households. Household income is assessable income only. Caution should thus be exercised when reviewing data for households experiencing housing stress.
  • Historically, households with a 'wages' income were recorded as 'not stated/inadequately described' for income type. In order to improve data quality (and reduce the number of households falling into the 'not stated/inadequately described' category), these particular households were recorded as 'employee cash income' for income type for the 2014-15 reporting period. Thus, data for income type for 2014-15 and 2013-14 reference periods are not comparable with the data from previous years.
Coherence:Help on this term

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 directly compared with figures produced prior to 2011-12 due to a change in methodology.

Specific State/Territory issues:

New South Wales

  • For the 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 from 2011-12 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 from 2011-12 are not comparable with earlier collections.

Australian Capital Territory

  • In the ACT, households that receive bond loan assistance also receive relocation expenses to assist with relocation, utility costs and other start up housing costs. Currently, the amount for relocation expenses is set at $100 per household. Bond loan assistance and relocation expenses are recorded separately.


  • Decline in households assisted under the PRA collection since 2013-14 can be attributed to a range of factors including:
  • The introduction of Housing Connect and Better Housing Futures programs enabled improved access to social housing (e.g., community housing and public housing).
  • In addition, introduction of the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 resulted in changes to requirements for the standards of rental accommodation.
  • Higher property vacancy rate.

Northern Territory

  • In December 2014, NT changed their rental grant program. Instead of providing a two-week rental grant for approved clients only, an additional two-week rental subsidy, as part of bond assistance, is provided. Thus, care is advised when reviewing data for 2014-15 with that of previous years.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Has been superseded by Private Rent Assistance Collection, 2015-16; Quality Statement AIHW Data Quality Statements, Archived 06/06/2018

Supersedes Private rent assistance 2013-14 Data Quality Statement AIHW Data Quality Statements, Archived 31/05/2016

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