Children’s housing experiences

Children’s housing experiences

Diana Warren

LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2017 chapter— October 2018
A senior walking his granddaughter to school

For most Australians, whether owning or renting their home, the provision of housing for themselves and their families involves substantial expenditure throughout most of their lives. Housing costs are often the largest regular expense to be met from a household’s current income (ABS, 2015).

We describe the types of housing that the LSAC study children live in, whether their parents own or rent, the condition of their homes and how often they move house. We examine the extent to which children experience (short-term or ongoing) housing stress and inadequate housing (e.g. overcrowding, housing in poor condition), as well as the effect on children of moving and the impact of family separation.

Key messages

Higher density housing, such as apartments and townhouses, now makes up a quarter of Australian housing. However, four out of five Australian children still live in a separate (detached) house.

For around three in five children their parents had a mortgage and were paying off the home; for around one in five children their parents were renting.

In 2014, around one-third of families with children living in private rental accommodation were experiencing housing affordability stress, compared to one in 10 families with children who were paying off a mortgage.

For some families, the experience of housing affordability stress was a result of parental separation – over 40% of children who had moved house around the time of their parents’ separation moved into a situation of housing affordability stress.

For most children, living in a household experiencing housing affordability stress was a temporary situation. However, more than a quarter of children who had remained in a single-parent household for two consecutive waves of LSAC also remained in a situation of housing affordability stress.

Read the full chapter Children's housing experiences.

Authors and Acknowledgements

Featured image: © GettyImages/JulieanneBirch

Publication details

LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2017 chapter
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, October 2018.

AIFS news

Get the latest news about our publications, research and upcoming events.