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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 

Indigenous communities sign up to housing management agreements

Almost 50 Western Australian Indigenous communities have signed up to a new housing management plan, which brings them into line with mainstream public housing tenancy arrangements under the West Australian (WA) Department of Housing.

As part of the release of millions of dollars for housing in remote communities, the federal and state governments are requiring communities to sign housing management agreements. The agreements place the properties under the supervision of the state Department of Housing, rather than local Indigenous corporations.

The department's Graeme Jones says the arrangement gives tenants both rights and responsibilities. 'That's critical because for the first time it means the tenants on Aboriginal land and houses have a reasonable expectation under law that their houses will be maintained and from the perspective of the Department of Housing, it puts responsibilities on the tenants also in terms of maintaining the property and paying rent,' he said.

The Federal Government is spending $5.5 billion over 10 years, building new homes and upgrading existing housing stock. Mr Jones says so far in WA, 450 new homes have been built and more than 1,000 refurbished. 'Unfortunately the funding we have won't meet the need for all the housing around the state but most Aboriginal people in communities around WA will be beneficiaries.'

To assist with the amalgamation, the WA Department of Housing have released a series of short videos intended for Indigenous tenants in remote WA who are living in new or refurbished community housing under a housing management agreement, Deadly tenants, deadly homes.

Source: ABC Indigenous

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Last updated: 29 April 2014
 
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