Northern Territory

NT Government releases 'HousingActionNT' housing blueprint

THE Northern Territory Government last week released its blueprint for delivering hundreds of new homes and thousands of housing upgrades in remote, urban and regional communities over the next five years.

Chief Minister Adam Giles said the strategy, 'HousingActionNT', involved a commitment of almost $500 million and was a new and transformational approach to community housing.

Alice Springs, NT
Above: Alice Springs, Northern Territory / by CameliaTWU.

Mr Giles said HousingActionNT recognised the important role that housing played in helping communities to grow and prosper.

"With this strategy, my government has laid down a pathway for delivering safe, secure and affordable housing for Territorians over the next five years," he said.

"Suitable housing is fundamental to the well-being of every Territorian, helping them to raise healthy families, participate in work and enjoy social activities in their community. HousingActionNT sets out how we will go about achieving that."

The Chief Minister and Housing Minister Bess Price released HousingActionNT while visiting Alice Springs, where almost $12 million has been earmarked for housing works in Budget 2016.

HousingActionNT includes separate strategies for both Remote Housing as well as Urban and Regional Housing.

It is underpinned by the government's three priorities for a sustainable housing system, sustainable communities and sustained well-being for people.

Mr Giles said HousingActionNT was the culmination of months of community consultation across the Territory.

"It began with our housing review launched in June last year. We have listened extensively to what the people had to say," he said.

The Remote Housing Strategy includes $350 million to build more than 380 new houses and complete over 1000 upgrades over the next two years and establishes the Remote Housing Development Authority (RHDA), an independent housing provider.

The Urban and Regional Housing Strategy provides an unprecedented commitment of $140 million in new spending over the next five years for social housing. This will see more than 300 new houses and over 2500 upgrades or replacements in urban and regional areas.

Ms Price said the RHDA - a key pillar of HousingActionNT - represented the biggest change in remote housing since self-government and would be a partnership between Aboriginal people and the government.

The RHDA would have responsibility for the administration, construction delivery, tenancy management and the repair and maintenance of remote housing in the Territory's 73 remote communities, 43 town camps and 400-plus homelands.

The RHDA would also be committed to giving communities more say, as well as creating jobs and business opportunities in remote areas across the NT.

A steering committee would soon begin consultation on the RHDA's structure with key stakeholders, including housing organisations, peak bodies and land councils.

"This remote housing strategy will not only result in new additional housing but also give Aboriginal people greater say and ownership of the remote housing system - from construction and design to tenancy and property management and jobs," she said.

Ms Price said the urban and regional housing strategy reflected the evolving needs of social housing, from homelessness to home ownership.

The strategy involved a client-centric approach designed to improve early intervention and prevention programs with strong links to support providers in housing, homelessness and other human services.

The strategy also provided for an integrated approach to service delivery – with government and non-government agencies working together to assist people who were homeless and those who required support and housing.

More information is available from the Department of Housing website at <https://housing.nt.gov.au/reviews-and-consultations/housing-strategy>.

Photo: Alice Springs, Northern Territory / CameliaTWU / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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