Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Improving Indigenous housing across Australia

Indigenous Australians will significantly benefit from the Australian Government’s single largest investment in social and affordable housing in the country’s history.

The release of a report today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) – Indigenous housing needs 2009: a multi-measure needs model – reveals the impact that decades of failed government policy and under-investment has had on Indigenous housing.

The report found that around 10,000 additional dwellings were required in 2006 to tackle Indigenous housing disadvantage including homelessness, housing affordability and the deterioration of dwelling conditions across Australia. This includes remote, regional and urban areas.

The Government is delivering a range of housing programs which tackle Indigenous housing needs across the country – from urban centres to remote communities.

Across all of our urban and regional housing programs, we will increase the stock of affordable housing by more than 80,000 units over four years.

This includes the delivery of 30,000 social housing dwellings costing $5.7 billion over two years and 50,000 properties under the National Rental Affordability Scheme at a cost of $1 billion over four years.

A substantial proportion of the Government’s mainstream social housing investments will benefit low-income and disadvantaged Indigenous Australians in regional and urban areas.

Around seven per cent of households in mainstream public and community housing are Indigenous.

In remote Australia, the Government has allocated an unprecedented $5.5 billion for remote Indigenous housing over the next ten years.

This funding will provide up to 4,200 additional new houses and around 4,800 major upgrades and repairs in remote communities

We are also driving a major reform agenda in remote housing, which requires secure tenancy, rent collection and maintenance reforms.

Recognising the serious deterioration in Indigenous housing stock, the Government is investing $179.3 million across Australia to upgrade existing houses in regional and urban areas.

This funding will improve the condition of houses currently held by Indigenous Community Housing Organisations.

The funding is being provided on the basis that the management of these houses is consistent with public housing standards, which requires regular rent collection and ongoing maintenance and repairs.