Australian Government to consider ways to increase supply and quality of remote Indigenous housing

New AHURI research finds that adapting services to local context is more effective than a one-size fits all model.

28 Nov 2016

The Australian Government has announced a review into remote Indigenous housing to explore ways to increase supply and improve the quality of housing, in particular working in partnership with Indigenous communities to find solutions that work on the ground. Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion, said the Indigenous-led review would consult and engage with Indigenous communities and businesses, housing service providers, peak bodies, Land Councils and state governments.

New AHURI research has examined the management and delivery costs of social housing in Indigenous communities in NT, WA, SA and Queensland, and echoes the Minister’s call to get local communities involved.

According to the research, problems were greatest when services were delivered in a one-size-fits-all approach that took little account of remoteness and culture. The most cost effective and successful service delivery arrangements were those that were adapted to the local context and based on a partnership between the state housing department and knowledgeable Indigenous providers, delivering a culturally appropriate service.

While repairs and maintenance in remote and very remote Indigenous communities will always be challenging and expensive, the research found that employing trained local tradespeople led to the most efficient outcomes. State housing departments should partner with employment and training programs to increase skills and employment in communities, reduce expenditure on travel and poor oversight of contractors and inadequate scoping of repair jobs.

Download the report