In defence of …

June 30th, 2011

In defence of the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) in the Northern Territory (NT) and the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPA)

A recent article in The Monthly giving Healthabitat’s (HH) view of Indigenous housing has stirred up some comment.

“In defence of the Strategic Indigenous !-lousing Investment Program, on which I worked for almost two years, the program is the largest that the Australian government has ever delivered and Victoria Lauric docs not do justice to the commitment of the people I worked with (‘Home Improvement’, June). It was the best example of an integrated cross-departmemal program that I had worked
on in the Territory. The work of Healthabitat should be applauded because it has made many incremental and measurable differences to people’s lives. But for Laurie to compare Healthabitat’s work against the aims of the National Partnership Agreement is comparing one grape to the whole bunch. Healthabitat’s methodology is part of the solution, but it alone cannot solve the dire living conditions for Indigenous Australian residents in remote areas.”

Dr Shaneen Fantin
Edmonton, Q.LD


Dr Shaneen Fantin has done some excellent work on many aspects of Indigenous housing over many years and her views should be respected. Her published thoughts on the article are attached for you to read. HH agrees with the commitment of many in the NT and will accept the ‘integrated cross departmental program’ … but we don’t accept the results we have seen and tested on the ground.

HH has never claimed we have the total solution, unlike a stream of politicians over 25 years of our involvement.

HH is happy to be the smallest grape on the bunch and we would prefer to be well outside the vineyard that the National Partnership Agreement has become. As with wine, perhaps someone should be judging the final product, very carefully.

To read Victoria Laurie’s essay in the Monthly, June 2011 click here