Closing the Gap targets improved housing for Indigenous Australians

Housing now included in national socio-economic targets

25 August 2020

The National Agreement on Closing the Gap has for the first time included housing among its 16 key national socio-economic targets to improve life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The targets in the refreshed strategy work across the following outcome areas: education, employment, health and wellbeing, justice, safety, housing, land and waters, and languages.

The housing target is based on the outcome that  ‘People can secure appropriate, affordable housing that is aligned with their priorities and need’, and states that by 2031, 88 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be living in appropriately sized (not overcrowded) housing. Under each of the targets there are indicators that help to provide an understanding of how progress will be tracked.

The National Agreement has been developed in partnership between Australian governments and the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations (the Coalition of Peaks), and its progress will be monitored by the Productivity Commission.

‘AHURI welcomes the focus of the National Agreement on improved housing outcomes for Indigenous Australians,’ says Dr Michael Fotheringham, Executive Director of AHURI. ‘AHURI research has highlighted issues of overcrowding and inadequate housing for Indigenous Australians for a number of years, and the National Agreement, with its ongoing monitoring and evaluation, will be a good step forward in improving the situation for many Indigenous households.’

At the centre of the National Agreement are four Priority Reforms that focus on changing the way governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Priority Reforms will:

  • Strengthen and establish formal partnerships and shared decision-making
  • Build the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector
  • Transform government organisations so they work better for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Improve and share access to data and information to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities make informed decisions.

If you’re interested in AHURI’s research on Indigenous housing you can view our full catalogue if Indigenous focused publications here.