‘Historic’ $4 billion investment in remote NT housing

Billions of dollars will be spent building homes for remote NT communities to ease overcrowding.

Billions of dollars will be spent building homes for remote NT communities to ease overcrowding. Photo: AAP

Billions of dollars will be poured into housing for remote Northern Territory communities in a bid to address a key barrier for Indigenous people.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced $4 billion jointly funded by the federal and territory governments during a visit to the community of Binjari, near Katherine.

The decade-long commitment will build up to 270 homes each year and seek to halve overcrowding in the NT.

Increasing the proportion of Indigenous people living in homes that are not overcrowded to almost 90 per cent by 2031 is a target in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

The Albanese government will also invest an extra $120 million across three years to match the NT government’s annual delivery of improvements to housing and essential infrastructure upgrades in remote homelands.

The project will be delivered through a partnership between the Commonwealth and territory, Aboriginal Land Councils and Aboriginal Housing NT.

The territory’s peak Indigenous housing body will be given a further $1 million to support its role.

Mr Albanese said the government was working to halve the nation’s highest level of overcrowding.

“We are committed to practical actions that improve the lives of First Nations people,” he said.

“Today’s announcement will improve housing conditions in remote communities and help close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

Commonwealth-funded delivery of housing in remote NT communities increased by more than 200 per cent between 2021-22 and 2022-23.

The government identified housing as a key policy priority for the Indigenous voice to parliament, which was defeated at a referendum in October.

Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney said increasing housing supply would ease overcrowding, which was a major barrier to closing the gap.

“This is an historic investment that will make a difference to the lives of so many Aboriginal people living in remote communities,” she said.

NT Chief Minister Eva Lawler said the commitment would deliver new homes for more than 10,000 people.

“The years to come will provide homes for remote area residents that are safer and more secure, as well as employment and training opportunities for those who live in our communities and homelands,” she said.

Aboriginal Housing NT chief executive Skye Thompson said the announcement was the single most comprehensive investment package into the NT’s remote housing and homelands sector.

“Its impact cannot be overstated,” she said.

“This investment will help ensure Aboriginal Australians across the Northern Territory are able to live with dignity and pride, where their kids can grow safe, healthy and strong and truly look to their futures with real hope and optimism.”


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