Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Increasing Indigenous home ownership

The Australian Government today released a discussion paper on increasing home ownership by Indigenous Australians.

The Government is determined to increase opportunities for home ownership for those Indigenous people who aspire to owning their own home.

Indigenous home ownership has increased from around 19 per cent in 1991 to 36 per cent in 2006. However, Indigenous Australians are still only half as likely to own their own home as non Indigenous Australians, and are significantly over represented in social housing.

Around 29 per cent of Indigenous people are renting social or community housing, compared to around 5 per cent of non-Indigenous people.

The discussion paper provides the community with an opportunity to provide input into how to increase home ownership for Indigenous Australians.

Representatives from all levels of governments, peak bodies and non-government organisations will be invited to provide input.

The discussion paper outlines existing support and services to assist with home ownership and raises questions to encourage discussion on this issue.

Since 2007-08, the Australian Government’s Home Ownership Program has assisted more than 800 families buy a home mainly in urban and regional areas.

In remote Australia, the Government is vigorously pursuing land tenure reforms to facilitate tenancy reforms in social housing and to provide for expanded home ownership opportunities.

In the Northern Territory, the implementation of two township leases has enabled loans to be issued under the Home Ownership on Indigenous Land program, with demand growing.

Under the National Affordable Housing Agreement, the Government is committed to reducing Indigenous disadvantage by improving access by Indigenous Australians to mainstream housing, including home ownership.

I encourage the community to provide input to this discussion paper, and help deliver more home ownership opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

For more information on the discussion paper and to provide submissions please visit FaHCSIA website