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Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

30 New Houses for Vulnerable Territorians

People at risk of homelessness in the Darwin area will benefit from the opening today of Ted Collins Village, a new social housing development built with the help of $6 million in Australian Government funding.

Senator for the Northern Territory Trish Crossin said finding appropriate accommodation for many Territorians was a daily struggle, especially for those on low incomes.

“Thirty new dwellings have been built through funding from the Social Housing Initiative and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness,” Senator Crossin said.

“All units feature universal design principles making them more accessible and incorporate six star energy ratings, including solar hot water, demonstrating sustainable technologies and sound environmental principles.

“This project would not have been possible without the valuable contribution made by St Vincent de Paul, who own and manage the facility.

“The Australian Government and state and territory governments have together committed $1.1 billion under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, to reduce the overall number of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness across the country.

“Tackling homelessness is the responsibility of all, and the Australian Government is pleased to be working with the Northern Territory Government and St Vincent de Paul to provide these new units in Coconut Grove.”

Senator Crossin said under the National Partnership Agreement we are delivering more than 180 new and expanded initiatives across the country, including 22 initiatives in the Territory.

“This Government has put homelessness on the agenda. We are seeking to halve homelessness and provide supported accommodation to all who seek it by 2020,” Senator Crossin said.

“These initiatives include support for young people who leave care and protection or the juvenile justice system, adults leaving correctional or health facilities, families with children, and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.”

Senator Arbib said in addition to its commitment to reducing homelessness, the Australian Government had also invested $5.6 billion in social housing through the Social Housing Initiative – the single largest investment ever undertaken by an Australian Government.

“Under the Social Housing Initiative, around 19,600 homes are being constructed across the nation, and will be completed by June 2012. Almost 16,000 have already been completed,” Senator Arbib said.

“Delivering more housing for vulnerable Australians that is better suited to their needs is absolutely crucial, and I am proud that the Australian Government has been able to work with the Northern Territory Government to deliver this new development.”