Media Release by The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

Social Housing Initiative complete in the Northern Territory

Joint Media Release with:

  • Peter Chandler, NT Minister for Housing, NT Minister for Homelessness, NT Minister for Small Business,
    Senator Trish Crossin, Senator for the Northern Territory

Federal Minister for Housing and Homelessness Brendan O’Connor and Northern Territory Minister for Housing Peter Chandler today opened Darwin’s Village @ Parap housing development, the final project to be completed in the Northern Territory as part of the Australian Government’s $5.6 billion Social Housing Initiative (SHI).

Built with $13.5 million from the Gillard Government’s SHI, on land contributed by the NT Government, the $40 million project includes 35 affordable rental units, 10 public housing units for seniors and 55 units to be made available to the private market.

Village @ Parap, which replaced the old Wirrina public housing complex, is the first mixed tenure project in the Territory and the first residential development in Darwin to achieve a six-star energy rating.

“There is a shortage of affordable housing across Australia and, through projects like Village@Parap, the Gillard Government is working hard to increase the nation’s stock of affordable housing for low and moderate income Australians,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Federal Labor has invested $20 billion in housing and homelessness programs since coming to office.

“Indeed, through programs like the Social Housing Initiative, the Housing Affordability Fund, the Building Better Regional Cities program and the National Rental Affordability Scheme, we have made a direct financial contribution to one in every 20 homes built since 2008.”

This development marks the completion of the SHI program in the Territory, with the Federal Labor Government having invested more than $55 million to build 208 new homes and a further $4.1 million to carry out repairs and maintenance on 297 existing homes.

The 35 affordable rental units in this development will be transferred to Venture Housing, the Territory’s first affordable housing rental company.

“It is important that affordable housing, close to services and employment opportunities, is available for Territorians who may not have the income to meet the housing costs in the private market,” Mr Chandler said.

“Projects like these are important as they support population growth and provide greater diversity of housing for buyers, tenants and older public housing tenants in well located and serviced areas.

“Finding an affordable and safe place to live in the local area not only gives you peace of mind, it is also lets you stay in touch with family and friends in your local area.”

Senator for the Northern Territory Trish Crossin accompanied Mr O’Connor and Mr Chandler on a guided tour of the units with builder Michael Sitzler.

“ Village @ Parap is close to public transport, shops, schools and sporting facilities and has easy access to the CBD and Vestey’s beach,” Senator Crossin said.

“I want to thank the Northern Territory Government and Venture Housing Company for their involvement with this wonderful development.”

The Social Housing Initiative is the largest single investment in social housing by any Australian Government.  It forms part of the federal Government’s stimulus package, which was designed to keep the Australian economy strong through the global financial crisis while assisting low income Australians who are homeless or struggling in the private rental market.