Improving tenancy management in the Northern Territory
A survey released today has found that reforms to property and tenancy management in remote Northern Territory communities are having a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of tenants.
The survey, by Allen Consulting Group, took views from 100 tenants across seven communities.
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said the survey highlights the positive effect of the reforms delivered through the Australian Government’s National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing.
“Decent housing is critical to protecting children, improving health, education and employment and for rebuilding positive community norms,” Ms Macklin said.
“As part of the National Partnership Agreement the Australian Government required all jurisdictions to make reforms to the way they manage properties and tenancies, including meeting performance benchmarks for remote communities.
“These benchmarks include putting in place rolling repairs and maintenance programs, signing up tenants to tenancy agreements, as well as implementing rent collection systems and tenancy support services.”
The Member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon said the survey results show that the Australian Government’s $1.7 billion investment in housing in the Northern Territory under the agreement is making a difference to people living in remote communities.
“Almost two thirds of tenants surveyed said the housing works had helped their family to lead healthier lives and made it easier for them to have a job and look for work,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Forty per cent of tenants surveyed also reported that improved housing had made it easier for their kids to go to school.
“Importantly, most tenants identified that their house is better than before because of reduced overcrowding and the house being easier to keep clean and tidy.”
Ms Macklin said the report showed the Northern Territory still needed to do further work in the area.
“While the results are a step in the right direction, this report shows that the Northern Territory still has more work to do, particularly in improving communication with tenants, residents’ understanding of rental payments and responding to requests for repairs and maintenance.
“We will continue to work closely with the Northern Territory Government to ensure that robust and sustainable property and tenancy management systems are implemented for remote communities.
“This ensures that Indigenous families can enjoy the same benefits that other Australians enjoy with a functioning and fair public housing system.”
The report can be viewed here: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/our-responsibilities/indigenous-australians/publications-articles/housing/national-indigenous-housing-guide/property-and-tenancy-management-report