Closing the Indigenous housing gap at the National Housing Conference

How do housing policies improve outcomes for Indigenous Australians?

12 September 2017

Many Indigenous Australians today continue to face significant barriers in accessing suitable housing and are significantly over-represented in our homelessness population, and their homelessness situations are likely to be more severe. The National Housing Conference will present a diverse range of sessions focussing on the many dimensions affecting Indigenous housing and homelessness.

The major concurrent session Closing the Indigenous housing gap will investigate how to create better housing choices for Indigenous Australians. This session will focus on the impact of many of the unique challenges involved, such as the remoteness of communities, culturally appropriate housing options, overcrowding and the high rate of Indigenous homelessness across Australia.

Led by a panel of government experts, including Graham Searle, Director General, Department of Communities in Western Australia, Dianne Gipey, CEO Alice Springs Women’s Shelter, and Shane Hamilton, CEO Aboriginal Housing Office – FACS NSW, this session will also examine the range of different state and territory housing policies to provide better housing choices and improve the housing outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

The importance of respectful and nuanced cultural sensitivity will be explored in the session Respecting Indigenous culture and voice in the provision of housing. Understanding the cultural requirements of Indigenous Australians will help policy makers and practitioners to deliver appropriate housing choices.

The presenters in this session, including representatives from the Aboriginal Housing Office in the Northern Territory, will investigate the return to self-determination in Aboriginal Housing in the NT. They will also focus on ways to create culturally and contextually appropriate Indigenous housing, and the implementation and evaluation of Aboriginal tenant support and education programs.

The intricacies of mainstream housing arrangements will be examined in the session The Leading Edge in Indigenous tenancy management. A panel of experts will delve into the variety of problems that arise from the difference between culturally appropriate Indigenous ways of living and mainstream housing tenancy arrangements. This session highlights examples of leading practice in Indigenous tenancy management, including a community housing group who work with Aboriginal communities to create partnerships with government and external organisations. It will also focus on research on supply and management of housing for Aboriginal people.

The National Housing Conference offers a unique platform to discuss and work towards a deeper understanding of these critical issues.

For more information, view the conference program and explore the range of topics to be covered over three days at #NHCSydney.

The National Housing Conference 2017 will take place on 29 Nov - 1 Dec at the International Convention Centre, Sydney. Register your attendance via the NHC website.