Aaron Bunch Journalist with Australian Associated Press | Collection of published work | + 61 484 008 119 | abunch@aap.com.au

Aaron Bunch
NT budget remote Indigenous housing boost

The Northern Territory Labor government will earmark $690 million in Tuesday’s budget to ease overcrowding in remote Indigenous communities.

May 9, 2022

The Northern Territory government plans to spend $690 million on remote housing in a bid to combat chronic overcrowding in Indigenous communities.

The 2022/23 budget promise will provide more than 260 new homes and 200 blocks of land, Remote Housing and Town Camps Minister Chansey Paech says.

“This significant investment, which includes contributions from both the territory and Australian governments … sets a record for the NT,” he said on Monday.

The package also includes funds to improve and extend existing housing and construct and upgrade teacher housing over the next three years.

Tenders will be open to Aboriginal businesses in a bid to improve economic sustainability in communities and create jobs for local workers.

“Our investment in housing is fundamental to better outcomes across the board and the cornerstone of economically viable, skilled communities,” Mr Paech said.

Remote communities have been battling overcrowding for decades, with up to 25 people sharing homes in some areas.

In recent months, the NT government has been criticised for its slow delivery of housing programs despite receiving federal funding to do so.

Since 2016, the territory government has spent almost a billion dollars on remote construction, including building new homes, improving existing dwellings and releasing land.

The 2022/23 NT budget will be released on Tuesday. The funding is part of the territory’s $2.1 billion 10-year remote housing plan announced in 2017.

The Commonwealth will provide $150.2 million for this year’s allotment of funding.

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