Prime Minister must not walk away from indigenous housing

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The future of the National Partnership on Remote Housing (NPRH) – a 10-year partnership to build and refurbish housing in some of the most disadvantaged communities across Australia – is in doubt with its funding due to end in June.

Queensland’s peak body for the housing and homelessness sector, Q Shelter, says the Commonwealth Government has not made any commitments to the partnership beyond June.

Q Shelter’s Executive Director, Leone Crayden, says that the state and Commonwealth governments had made significant inroads in reducing overcrowding and improving the quality of housing for people living in remote communities.

‘Commonwealth and state governments committed $5.4 billion over 10 years to build and refurbish thousands of homes across Australia,’ Ms Crayden says.

‘The Prime Minister’s own report into the program last year praised state governments for exceeding their targets in delivering new homes, refurbishing older houses, and providing employment opportunities for local communities.’

However, Ms Crayden says that despite this success, the job was far from over in addressing housing need in remote communities.

‘In Queensland, we’ve almost halved overcrowding but there’s still severe housing need across remote areas of the state.

‘This program hasn’t been perfect, and there’re a lot of areas that we could revise and tweak to achieve even better outcomes.

‘Right now all we need is a commitment from the Commonwealth that they’re willing to provide medium to long term funding for remote housing.’

Without ongoing funding and support, the $5.4 billion that’s been invested through NPRH could be all for nothing, Ms Crayden says.