Recent research reveals that Indigenous household overcrowding has a dual nature.
On the one hand, overcrowding may occur when there is no way of allocating sleeping space without placing a person in situations that compromise the need for respect among kin. On the other hand, overcrowding might also occur where householders have chosen a lifestyle of substance abuse and the overcrowding results from the failure of rule-governed behaviour. These definitions of overcrowding are very different from the density model typically used by Australian public housing providers.
This research project will seek to critically examine existing models of household overcrowding reported in the literature nationally and internationally in order to provide policy makers with ways to predict, measure and manage Aboriginal household overcrowding. In order to do this, a model of overcrowding will be developed and tested in non-remote settings, and in so doing uncover the salient dimensions and properties of Aboriginal overcrowding. Fieldwork will occur in selected capital cities and regional cities, and across public rental, private rental and home-owner households to see how different tenures impact on distinctly Aboriginal rule-governed behaviours and coping mechanisms.