Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

New Indigenous Housing Maintenance Kit

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Amanda Vanstone, today announced that the Commonwealth would fund the development of a housing maintenance resource kit for Indigenous communities.

“The Government is committed to providing a range of responses to improve Indigenous housing, including enhancing the capacity of local Indigenous housing organisations to maintain and manage their houses,” said the Minister.

“The lack of regular housing maintenance contributes to poor living environments for Indigenous people. With this kit, communities will be able to regularly assess and maintain their houses which will lead to better health.”

The kit will encourage local participation and greater self reliance by enabling community housing managers to identify repairs that can be done by local people. As part of the kit’s development, training opportunities will be provided for local people to develop the skills to carry out routine repair work. The total project will cost over $100,000.

The kit will also:

  • Enable housing organisations to keep a central record of maintenance and condition of housing stock in their communities;
  • Provide a simple check list to assess the condition of houses and identify repairs needed; and
  • Contain a tool kit which will enable workers in the Indigenous community housing organisations to make repairs.

“This kit will be developed in consultation with Indigenous people and trialed in a number of rural and remote communities,” Senator Vanstone said.

“The Government is keen to bring a halt to the ‘build and abandon’ approach to Indigenous housing and instead give the communities the skills they need to help themselves.”

Senator Vanstone is today attending the Commonwealth and State Housing Ministers’ Conference which has a specific emphasis on Indigenous housing at this meeting.