13 February 2019

No new Aboriginal housing supply from NSW Government

The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) is committed to an ambitious new agenda of cultural protection, social wellbeing and economic development. This agenda includes a plan to generate new housing supply, build the Aboriginal community-controlled housing sector, and ensure Aboriginal people access their fair share of opportunities for future growth.

As part of this vision, in March last year NSWALC lodged a detailed Expression of Interest (EOI) with the NSW Government to receive subsidies from the Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) Phase 2. In May, NSWALC was advised that the EOI had been shortlisted along with six others, and the Government invited NSWALC to submit a full Proposal.

The results of SAHF Phase 2 have been publicly announced by the NSW Government. NSWALC CEO Mr James Christian says it is greatly disappointing to NSWALC that our proposal has been unsuccessful.

"The process has failed to deliver any new entrants to the community housing sector, and it has not secured any additional dedicated supply of social and affordable housing for Aboriginal households. The real loss is to the Aboriginal people and families who would have been housed through this program and the broader possibilities it would have created for those families".

"While today's announcement is a blow to Aboriginal housing in this State, NSWALC will continue to work towards its vision of securing more new housing for desperate Aboriginal households in NSW. We will continue to impress upon government the critical importance of Aboriginal community-controlled organisations in providing high‑quality and culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal people. And we will continue to press government to increase the supply of social and affordable housing for Aboriginal households", said Mr Christian.

Council Chairman Mr Roy Ah-See today called on the Government to work with the Aboriginal housing sector to build a better future.

"Aboriginal housing assets belong in Aboriginal hands and under Aboriginal management. This is the path towards self-determination, and to leveraging the value of these assets to increase supply and create economic opportunity for Aboriginal people".

"Through our SAHF proposal, NSWALC has built valuable partnerships with LALCs, community housing providers, builders, investors, and advisers, and Council is already exploring alternative pathways to finance and proceed with its plans. In particular, NSWALC will continue to work with the LALCs that have been part of the bid to investigate other options for constructing new housing on Aboriginal land", Mr Ah-See said.