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Indigenous Community Housing Collection, 2017-18; Quality Statement

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termQuality Statement
METeOR identifier:Help on this term690936
Registration status:Help on this termAIHW Data Quality Statements, Endorsed 03/07/2019

Data quality

Quality statement summary:Help on this term


Data are provided annually to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) by jurisdictions and are sourced from Indigenous Community Housing Organisations (ICHOs) and jurisdictions’ administrative systems and audits.

An ICHO is any organisation that is responsible for managing medium- to long-term housing for Indigenous people. This includes community organisations such as resource agencies and land councils, which have a range of functions, provided that they manage housing for Indigenous people. Where a state or territory housing authority is responsible for managing Indigenous Community Housing tenancies for Indigenous people, they are classified as an ICHO.

The annual data collection captures information about ICHOs, the dwellings they manage and the households assisted at 30 June 2018. Financial information is for the year ending 30 June 2018.


  • All states and territories, except the Australian Capital Territory (which does not have Indigenous community housing), provide the AIHW with Indigenous Community Housing (ICH) data from their administrative systems. The AIHW compiles these data for national reporting in the Report on government services (RoGS). The data are also published in AIHW reports.
  • Additionally, unit record Indigenous community housing data are collected from ICHOs via data collection tools managed by the AIHW.
  • In many cases complete data were not available for all dwellings or ICHOs in a given jurisdiction.
  • Care is required when comparing outputs across states and territories. Differences in the data collected, including which records are included or excluded from a calculation can affect the coherence of the outputs. Coherence over time has been affected by changes in methodology (see ‘coherence’ section for details).
Institutional environment:Help on this term

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is an independent corporate Commonwealth entity under the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act 1987 (AIHW Act), governed by a management Board, and accountable to the Australian Parliament through the Health portfolio.

The AIHW is a nationally recognised management agency. Its purpose is to create authoritative and accessible information and statistics that inform decisions and improve the health and welfare of all Australians.

The AIHW enables other organisations to improve their policies and services and achieve their goals by making better use of evidence—a fundamental requirement for good decision making. It collects and reports on a wide range of topics and issues, including health and welfare expenditure, hospitals, disease and injury, mental health, ageing, homelessness, disability and child protection.

The AIHW 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 AIHW 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.

Compliance with confidentiality requirements in the AIHW Act, Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1988, (Cth) and its data governance arrangements ensures that the AIHW is well positioned to release information for public benefit while protecting the identity of individuals and organisations. It also ensures that data providers can be confident that the AIHW will adhere to data supply terms and conditions.

For further information see the AIHW website

The AIHW receives, compiles, edits and verifies the data in collaboration with states and territories. The finalised data sets are signed off by the states and territories and used by the AIHW for reporting, analysis and approved ad hoc data requests.

Timeliness:Help on this term

Data are collected annually. The reference period for this collection is the 2017–18 financial year and is mostly a 30 June 2018 snapshot.

Accessibility:Help on this term

Data are reported in the AIHW’s annual Housing assistance in Australia reports.

Users can request additional disaggregation of data which are not available online or in reports (subject to the AIHW’s confidentiality policy and state and territory approval) via the AIHW’s online data request system at Depending on the nature of the request, requests for access to unpublished data may also incur costs or require approval from the AIHW Ethics Committee.

General enquiries about AIHW publications can be made to

Interpretability:Help on this term

Metadata and definitions relating to this data source can be found in the Indigenous community housing data set specification 2013-18.

Supplementary information can be found in the housing collection data manuals which are available upon request.

Relevance:Help on this term

The scope of Indigenous community housing, for the purpose of this collection, only includes information about ICHOs that received government funding for the provision of housing assistance within the financial year, with the exception of counts of known unfunded ICHOs and the number of permanent dwellings managed by these unfunded ICHOs.

The data collected are from states and territories and comprise information from administrative systems, dwelling audits conducted by states and territories and from ICHOs through data collection tools. The data conform well in terms of scope, and reference period but vary considerably in terms of coverage as data in a number of jurisdictions are not complete for all dwellings or ICHOs.

Classifications used are not always consistent across the states and territories. For example, total recurrent costs and net recurrent costs are meant to exclude depreciation but do not in all jurisdictions or all ICHOs within a jurisdiction.

The data are highly relevant for monitoring trends in households assisted in Indigenous Community Housing. The data are used for many purposes, including by policy-makers to evaluate both the living conditions of tenants in Indigenous community housing dwellings, the amount of rent paid by tenants, and to assess the efficiency of Indigenous community housing organisations in providing dwellings.

Accuracy:Help on this term

The information is sourced via jurisdiction administrative systems, dwelling audits conducted by states and territories and from ICHOs through data collection tools. Data are incomplete for some states and territories due to non-reporting or under-reporting by ICHOs.

There are known accuracy issues with the data collected:

  • The ICHO and state/territory housing authority administrative systems have inaccuracies to varying degrees including missing data, inconsistent data, out-of-date data and data coding or recording errors.
  • Not all organisations capture and report all data items—data may not be collected and reported in a manner consistent with national data definitions.
  • Information on Indigenous status is not collected. All households are assumed to include at least one Indigenous member.

State and territory-specific issues:

New South Wales

  • Depreciation included in ‘total recurrent costs’ is underreported by ICHOs in New South Wales on the dwellings they own. Furthermore, ICHOs manage a large number of state-owned dwellings that are reported under ICH, on which depreciation is incurred by the responsible government agency, rather than the managing ICHO.
  • Transfers of the management of dwellings occur between ICHOs, between NSW Government agency (Aboriginal Housing Office) and ICHOs or vice versa, quite regularly. The Aboriginal Housing Office manages dwellings in the interim period while a suitable ICHO to manage the dwelling is sourced. This means that dwellings reported in one year as managed by the state/territory housing authority may be reported as managed by an ICHO in the following year.


  • An organisation reporting for the first time in 2017–18 only provided dwelling level information without the corresponding household details. As a result, care is advised when comparing household information across years.

Western Australia

  • ‘Total recurrent expenses’ excludes depreciation. This is consistent with previous years.


  • Information on households, including the number of additional bedrooms required, is not reported by ICHOs. Therefore, this information is not available for national reporting.
  • One ICHO includes depreciation in the calculation of net expenditure while the other does not.
  • In 2017–18, only one organisation provided data to the national collection about capital expenditure. Care is advised when comparing capital expenditure with that of previous years.

Northern Territory

  • Information is supplied only about dwellings that are occupied. NT only contributes funds to occupied dwellings.
Coherence:Help on this term

Variation over time is in part due to fluctuations in collection coverage (such as the number of organisations supplying data) and the completeness of data provided.

Data for individual states and territories may not be comparable to previous years as accuracy of the data can vary over time. These differences include the data collection source, the completeness of reporting both in regards to ICHOs, the data and instances of unknown values recorded for data items. Data quality issues have varied over the years. For specific caveats on previous years’ data, consult the footnotes and data quality statements in the relevant edition of the Housing assistance in Australia report.

From 2009–10, the scope of most data items within the ICH collection was restricted to ICHOs that received funding within the financial year. This is consistent with the scope of the 2006–07 and earlier collections. In comparison, in the 2007–08 and 2008–09 collections, more data items reflected the performance of both funded and unfunded ICHOs.

Previously, the Australian Government had administrative responsibility for some ICHOs in Victoria, Queensland and all ICHOs in Tasmania. Data for these dwellings were reported collectively under the jurisdiction ‘Australian Government’. In 2009, responsibility for these ICHOs was transferred to the respective state or territory. Data for these dwellings are now reported under the relevant state or territory.

State and territory-specific issues:

New South Wales

  • From 2012–13, New South Wales reported information about funded ICHOs, the dwellings they managed and the households they assisted. Prior to 2012–13, New South Wales reported proxy information about providers that were actively registered with the Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO). Some of these registered providers were not funded. This change in the population reported within the data collection may have contributed to the reported decrease in the number of funded ICHOs in 2012–13 and the reported changes across a number of descriptive data and performance indicators. Therefore, data from 2012–13 may not be comparable with earlier reporting periods.
  • Improved coverage from 2013–14 resulted in increased rental data compared to previous years.
  • Information on additional bedrooms required for a household was not available for the 2014–15 collection period.
  • Complete data for capital expenditure at the organisation level was unavailable in 2013–14. Thus, capital expenditure data for permanent dwellings in 2013–14 may not be comparable to that of other years.
  • ICHOs have provided more complete data in 2015–16 and in 2016–17 than in previous years meaning there are increases in rent charged to (and collected from) tenants. Collection of arrears also contributed to an increase in rent collected.
  • In 2016–17, New South Wales, for the first time, included 207 ICH dwellings that are manages by mainstream community housing providers. These properties were not previously reported under any other social housing program. Thus, caution is advised when reviewing data from 2016–17 with that of previous years.


  • From 2009–10, both Aboriginal Housing Victoria activity and ICHO activity are reported by Victoria, since they assumed administrative responsibility for the former Community Housing and Infrastructure Program (CHIP), previously managed by the Commonwealth. For the 2 years prior to 2009–10, Victoria reported Aboriginal Housing Victoria activity only.


  • Prior to 2012–13, missing household records were imputed based on the assumption that there was one household living in each permanent dwelling. From 2012–13, these data were no longer imputed. Care is advised when comparing household data from prior to 2012–13 with subsequent years.
  • Queensland provided data collected from ICHOs for the first time in 2015–16. Prior to 2015–16, data were sourced only from Queensland’s administrative systems. The total number of occupied permanent dwellings managed by funded organisations increased between 2014–15 and 2015–16 because the 2015–16 data includes dwellings managed by the not-for-profit sector (collected via ICHO data collection tools).
  • Total recurrent costs and net recurrent costs from 2015–16 are not comparable with prior years due to different inclusions and exclusions. Prior to 2015–16, data for total recurrent costs and net recurrent costs were identical to housing maintenance expenditure due to the unavailability of additional data. Queensland only held information on maintenance and upgrade costs funded in communities with government tenancy management. Since maintenance costs are a component of all three measures, and the only data available, all measures reported the same total. From 2015–16, data includes additional expenditure.
  • The increase in net recurrent costs in 2016–17 is due to the inclusion of expenditure on maintenance that was not reported in previous years.
  • In 2016–17, rent charged and collected data were not available for approximately 9 ICHOs.
  • ICHOs provided more complete data in 2017–18 than in previous years which has contributed to an increase in rent charged to (and collected from) tenants.
  • The increase in net recurrent expenses is due to the inclusion of apportioned indirect costs for 2017–18. Indirect costs have not been included in previous years.

Western Australia

  • Historically, where only partial information was known when calculating overcrowding, Western Australia imputed the remaining information. This change in methodology contributed to the reported increase in the number of households included in the calculation of overcrowding and may have contributed to the reported decrease in overcrowding from 2013–14 onwards.

South Australia

  • From 2012–13, data are only reported for tenancies managed by the state housing authority (with the exception of an estimated count of permanent dwellings managed by funded ICHOs). Prior to 2012–13, all dwelling and household data were based on tenancy and asset audit data.
  • Data for rates of overcrowding cannot be compared to those from 2012–13 and 2013–14, as unexpected data quality issues contributed to a lack of availability of overcrowding data for these two reporting periods.


  • A new arrears policy was implemented in 2012–13. This has contributed to improvements in data quality for rent since 2013–14.
  • In 2012–13, data for net recurrent costs included costs for depreciation on rental housing which resulted in identical information for total and net recurrent costs. This has been excluded in the 2013–14 data. Thus, data may not be comparable with previous years.
  • Due to data quality issues, data for several household indicators are not comparable between the two collection periods of 2013–14 and 2014–15.
  • Improved data submissions from ICHOs in 2016–17 resulted in increases in rent collected and charged from tenants, compared with 2015–16.

Northern Territory

  • Around 5,000 social housing dwellings in the Northern Territory have been excluded from administrative data collections since being transferred from Indigenous community housing to remote public housing between 2008 and 2010. From 2016–17, these data are included in the State Owned and Managed Indigenous Housing data collection.
  • From 2014–15, data relate to permanently occupied dwellings. No distinction is made between permanent and improvised dwellings, due to a change in the funding methodology with permanent occupied dwellings being funded regardless of their construction type. Thus, caution is advised when comparing data from 2014–15 onwards 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

Supersedes Indigenous Community Housing Collection, 2016–17; Quality Statement AIHW Data Quality Statements, Archived 03/07/2019

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