2010 to 2012 – moving backwards towards the future?

November 11th, 2012

February 2010

Fixing Houses For Better Health (FHBH)

This program involves grant funding to Healthabitat to organise minor repairs and maintenance to existing Indigenous housing. Fixing Houses for Better Health (FHBH) is a small scale repairs and maintenance program aimed at improving house functionality in remote Indigenous communities. A standardised assessment is conducted pre and post repair work. Additional research and development projects are also conducted.
The FHBH projects aim to achieve better health outcomes for Indigenous Australians living in rural and remote communities by improving the housing in which they live and sustaining this improvement over time. FHBH projects employ and train local community members to maintain their houses in working order and encourages Indigenous community to take responsibility for ongoing maintenance after the FHBH has made improvements to the housing.
FaHCSIA is providing $5.5 million in 2009-10 towards this program with a further $5.5 million committed for 2010-11. The States and the Northern Territory are familiar with this program and some jurisdictions have already used the services of Healthabitat.
Responsibility of Indigenous housing and infrastructure, including related repairs and maintenance, rest with the States and Territories. Significant funding has been provided by the Commonwealth to the States and Territories for housing and infrastructure as part of the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing. Therefore the Review proposes that funding of FHBH by the Commonwealth should cease at the end of the current contract on 30 June 2011.


44. In respect of Indigenous housing:
44.1. Note the steps that have recently been taken to strengthen delivery of the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing, including the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure (SIHIP) program.
44.3. Cease funding the Fixing Houses for Better Health (Healthabitat) program when the current contract concludes on 30 June 2011, noting that funding for housing repairs and maintenance is now covered by the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing.

The FHBH program was stopped ( HH would not have accepted another contract), clear responsibility for housing maintenance was given to the states and territories with significant funding. 

So the money has been provided to the state and territories … where is the data collected to prove maintenance activities and house function from mid 2011 to mid 2012?

For 12 years (1999-2011) HH produced publicly available data on maintenance and condition of Indigenous housing. Where is the equivalent information and financial accountability for work done?