‘They took the land, now we’re fighting for a house’: Aboriginal perspectives about urban housing disadvantage

Melanie J. Andersen, Anna B. Williamson, Peter Fernando, Sandra Eades, Sally Redman

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Aboriginal Australians experience substantial housing disadvantage on a range of measures, yet relatively little is known about how urban Aboriginal people perceive their housing circumstances. While most Aboriginal people live in urban or suburban areas, research and policy attention has tended to focus on remote housing issues. This paper draws on focus groups conducted with Aboriginal people at an Aboriginal Medical Service in Western Sydney (n = 38) about their housing experiences and beliefs about why many Aboriginal people experience the housing disadvantage they described. Participants described a landscape in which their housing experiences were materially affected by their Aboriginality and inextricably linked to racial discrimination, poverty, marginalization, the lack of social and affordable housing and disempowerment, all with negative implications for their psychosocial well-being. Participant views aligned with critical race theory, with race described as a fundamental structural force that created and deepened housing disadvantage beyond economic hardship alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-660
Number of pages26
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Aboriginal
  • racism
  • social housing
  • social theory
  • urban

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