The Chairman of FISH – Foundation for Sustainable Indigenous Housing – asks is there info such as a printed booklet/handout for Indigenous families that points out the positive and negative aspects of home ownership in remote communities?
Most Indigenous communities in the north-west lie on leases owned by the State Government.
In 2009 the ABC reported the WA Minister for Regional Development, Brendon Grylls, saying this lack of land ownership was one of the major hurdles in the development and growth of the region and that he would support the conversion of pastoral leases to freehold properties. He said:
“Ninety or 95 per cent of the land in the north-west of this state is not of the sort of tenure that attracts investment..
That’s why it hasn’t had the investment or the population expansion that I think this area can sustain and would like to see actually happen.”
In 2010 Tanya Plibersek, Federal Minister For Housing has released a discussion paper on the community housing sector. Her media release says:
The paper marks the start of a public consultation process about options for regulation and growth of not-for-profit housing providers in Australia, looking at ways that can better support and sustain this growing sector.
The community housing sector increased by a third between 2003 and 2008, demonstrating the ability of not-for-profit providers to build more homes when working with finance, developers and other commercial partners than would have been possible through government grants alone.
The Government supports these new partnerships and initiatives.
The position taken is that we need a national regulatory system that protects the interests of tenants and governments and at the same time builds investor confidence in the sector.
The paper argues that the sector’s potential will be constrained unless there are changes to institutional frameworks, improved access to capital funding and a significant shift in scale and sophistication of operations.
Housing providers need the assurance of a national regulatory system which gives them the opportunity to operate across state and territory borders and to enter into solid commercial relationships.
I encourage those with an interest in how the not-for-profit housing sector can help increase the supply of affordable rental housing to contribute to this discussion by providing a written or online submission.
Further opportunity to contribute will be available through a series of public consultations which will be held in 11 locations across Australia, starting in Sydney on May 3, 2010.
Submissions to the discussion paper close on June 4, 2010.
The Discussion Paper and information about the public consultations are available on the FaHCSIA website or by calling 1800 919 511.