Dwelling standards

Apart from adequate size of houses, a house in acceptable condition, with working facilities that support healthy living, is important in reducing the risk of group A streptococcus. A house is considered to be in acceptable condition if it has no more than 2 structural problems and has the following facilities:

  • working facilities for washing people
  • working facilities for washing clothes or bedding
  • working facilities for preparing food
  • working sewerage facilities.

In 2018-19 (the most recent data available for this measure), about 69,000 (19.7%) First Nations households lived in a house that was not in acceptable condition according to the above definition. About 87% of these households were in NSW, QLD, WA, SA and NT.

In 2018–19, about 43% of First Nations households in Very remote areas were living in houses that were not in acceptable condition, compared with 26% in Remote areas, 23% in Outer regional areas, 14% in Inner regional areas and 17% in Major cities (AIHW analysis of ABS 2023b).

More detail on the association between the 9 Healthy Living Practices and Strep A, ARF and RHD is provided in Chapter 4 of The 2020 Australian guideline for the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease (RHDAustralia 2020).