National Partnership Agreement On Remote Indigenous Housing

In 2014, the Commonwealth negotiated purchase agreements with Victoria and Tasmania, as most of the isolated housing needs were covered. The Commonwealth worked with NSW and found that it had the greatest need for remote housing. In May 2016, NSW agreed to a quick exit from the partnership agreement and negotiated a buyout agreement with the Commonwealth. Improving housing construction will significantly address the disadvantage gap for Aboriginal people. In 2016, the new NPRH was negotiated between the commonwealth, Northern Territory (NT), Queensland (QLD), South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (AV) governments to replace NPARIH. The NPRH focused on managing critical housing needs for Torres Strait Aborigines and Islanders in remote communities, improving service delivery, exploiting jobs and business opportunities, and creating more sustainable housing. The NPRH came into effect on July 1, 2016 and ended on June 30, 2018. The Commonwealth has pledged $776.403 million over two years under the NPRH. From May 2013 to June 2018, the residential component of the NT initiative allocates $230 million to upgrades in remote communities. Improving housing conditions is essential to improving the health, education and employment of Aboriginal people. From 2008 to 2018, the Commonwealth allocated $5.4 billion to NPARIH and the National Partnership on Remote Housing (NPRH), which provided significant housing outcomes, including the construction of 4,000 new homes and 7,500 renovated existing homes in 300 isolated Aboriginal communities.

As part of this investment, reforms to property and rental management have also been introduced, including a routine maintenance and repair programme that has gradually increased the life cycle of housing construction. National partnerships have moved from NPARIH to NPRH, from the implementation of new systems to priorities on services and programs to improve outcomes for tenants. This situation has been reflected in the NRPH by linking funding to specific milestones, including Aboriginal employment and business objectives. Following the 10-year investment of the national partnership agreements, the Commonwealth provided one-time funding in 2018/2019 for isolated aboriginal housing in Western Australia ($121 million) and South Australia ($37.5 million), with states supporting the transfer of responsibility for remote housing funding to the states. The Commonwealth also announced in May 2019 that it would spend US$105 million to finance isolated Aboriginal housing in Queensland. The housing implementation plan should be renamed Distance Australia Strategies Imlementation Plan and be part of the new National Northern Territory Global Investment Partnership Agreement to replace the Stronger Futures initiative. The agreement aims to improve isolated housing by reducing Aboriginal overcrowding in 73 isolated communities and the 17 Alice Springs Town Camps. The 2016 NPARIH and NPRH remote accommodation review revealed that considerable progress had been made, but that a number of ongoing issues still needed to be resolved. The review estimates that after taking population growth into account, an additional 5,500 housing units will be needed by 2028 to reduce overcrowding in remote areas to an acceptable level.