Territory Stories

Annual Report 2000/2001 Territory Housing



Annual Report 2000/2001 Territory Housing

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Tabled paper 154


Tabled Papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






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The Northern Territory has the lowest proportion (less than 1/2) of public tenants who expect to be renting the same dwelling in five years (2/3 nationally), and highest proportion nationally of public housing tenants who expect to buy the house they live in. Despite the Northern Territory's young population profile, 35% of public housing tenants are over 55 years, and 26% are over 65 years (compared to 22% in Tasmania). The 1996 Census results showed that 14% of indigenous households living in remote areas lived in improvised dwellings and that another 60% lived in overcrowded conditions. A 1999 housing and environmental health survey showed that only I /4 of 83 remote communities surveyed had 50% or more houses with functioning facilities allowing all six healthy living practices (wash people, wash clothes, functioning toilet, remove waste water remove rubbish, prepare and store food). This reflects lower home ownership levels in this age group and more limited options in the private market. Seniors make up a gradually increasing proportion of the public housing waiting list. The last twelve months have seen a dramatic increase in the number of Indigenous households applying for public housing, up from 481 (25.9% of waiting list) in 1999-2000 to 606 (36.7% of waiting list) in 2000-2001. This reflects increasing urban drift as well as new household formation in urban centres. REM O TE H O U S IN G Almost 70% of the Northern Territorys Indigenous population live on remote communities. There is no private housing market on remote communities and publicly funded housing is provided through local Indigenous housing associations, rather than by public rental housing. Commonwealth Rent Assistance is generally not available, despite high levels of poverty, because the rents charged are often not over the threshold level. On remote communities there are generally very low levels of real employment, the primary household income is from Centrelink and the cost of food is very high. Housing issues on these communities are embedded in broader social and economic issues. 40 Poverty and rent assistance Communities receiving Commonwealth Government rent assistance Communities classified as being in 'Poverty' Source: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission 1996 Census Analysis, Department of Family and Community Services Rent Assistance Data.