The Northern Territory government says that their remote housing program will continue for the foreseeable future after severe weather and flooding has damaged regional communities.
The program also reached a milestone earlier this month when the government announced that they had recently finished their 1000th home.
The Northern Territory’s minister for housing and homelands, Selna Uibo says that despite the recent milestone there is still more to be done.
“By the time we get on to another set of communities or another group of works they’ll be a need again for those communities that started in the earlier part (of the program) when we came to government.
I think we will always be playing catchup in the housing space, but it’s always a good story when you hand over the keys to a family in their new home for the first time.” she said.
Uibo says that there are also steps being made to ensure to keep the Northern Territory government continues to work with Aboriginal land councils to provide support for those living on country.
When the new federal government came into power, they gave the territory government 100 million in order to manage homelands.
“We can’t build new homes as a government on Aboriginal land without a lease, so we do work closely with our four Aboriginal land councils who serve us and represent homelands.
They’ll be a huge need ongoing for homelands and supporting countryman to live on country,” she said.
There is also the question of housing in more densely populated areas of the territory.
Last week the Darwin city council started issuing harsher fines for those sleeping rough on the city’s streets amid pressure to act on their existing by-laws.
Uibo says that the territory government is working with community housing providers as well as constructing new public housing in order to ensure every territroian has a roof above their head.
Part of the process includes transferring 500 public dwellings to community housing providers in Darwin, Palmerston and surrounding areas.
“That’s quite an exciting space, I know other jurisdictions have done that already but it’s our first time of going through that,” she said.
Uibo says The Northern Territory government is looking into expanding the scope of community housing providers in Central Australia and Alice Springs as well.
Full interview with Northern Territory Housing and Homelands Minister Selena Uibo: