Housing comments overlook the needs of homelands

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The Australian Greens say Government claims that Aboriginal housing issues have ‘turned a corner’ downplays continuing overcrowding and a significant and ongoing lack of funding to support people on homelands.

“Rather than turning a corner, the Government are turning their back on some significant issues around housing,” Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Despite the investments made, overcrowding would remain at levels well beyond those in the rest of the country.

“A major area of concern is the lack of funding for housing and refurbishments on homelands that is pushing people towards hub towns despite the clear benefits homelands provide.

“The Government has been pushing people to sign over tenure to their lands, and despite talk of supporting smaller communities, the overall approach of government does not look set to change.

“The $20 million of homelands funding announced in April does not provide for the provision of housing and is only a continuation of the small level of funding to homelands .

“I don’t know how the Government can say a corner has been turned. Across the NT we will still be seeing significant overcrowding, with an average of 9.3 people per house and the accompanying health and social problems this can cause,” Senator Siewert concluded.