Urban housing report
The Australian Living Standards Study
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This report to the Department of Human Services and Health analyses data from the Australian Living Standards Study and is based on information provided by families living in the urban areas selected: five outer areas (Berwick and Werribee in Melbourne, Campbelltown and Penrith in Sydney, and Elizabeth / Munno Para in Adelaide), two middle areas (Box Hill in Melbourne and Ryde in Sydney), and two inner areas (Melbourne and South Sydney). The relationship between housing and living standards was addressed in two ways. First, housing was examined as a consumption good by exploring the quality of housing and the extent to which it met the needs and preferences of families. Second, housing was examined as an investment good by investigating how the costs and benefits of home ownership affected living standards financially. The report examines a wide range of aspects of housing of urban families, including physical quality, financial costs and benefits, quality of occupancy and housing and locational preferences. The authors describe the spatial and social variation in these housing conditions and the comments of families on the impact of housing problems on family life and wellbeing. The report identifies some of the main policy issues that arise from the survey, and points to the need for further research to explain the observed socio-spatial patterns of housing characteristics and levels of satisfaction.