NEWS – Housing for Health is starting again in the NT!

May 14th, 2021

Back to the NT!

Healthabitat has just commenced the first of 10 new Housing for Health projects to be delivered across the NT over the next 2 years. Funded by a mix of NT Government, community housing organisation, health NGO and generous private donations the work presents a fresh opportunity to work alongside NT Health and Housing and Aboriginal community housing staff to use targeted repair and maintenance programs to improve health for residents.

Housing for Health recommenced in the NT in 2020 as part pf the Healthy Homes Project

NT Healthy Homes Project

In 2020 the NT Government established the Healthy Homes program to ‘promote preventative repairs and maintenance models that focus on ensuring that houses health hardware is functioning to support HLP’s (Healthy Living Practices)’. Whilst funding for these new Housing for Health projects forms a core component of this initiative, Healthabitat is hoping the NT Government follows through on its wider objective to integrate improved health outcomes into how it manages its property and tenancy program for all 73 remote communities it manages across the NT.

‘Housing for Health’ is a copyright methodology developed by Healthabitat for improving living conditions in Aboriginal communities. The methodology focuses on environmental changes that would lead to maximum health gains, particular for children aged 0-5 years.  Initially developed in the late 1980’s on the APY lands, Housing for Health data and research over the past 20 years show that improving essential health hardware (fixing leaking toilets, electrical repairs, having sufficient hot water, having somewhere to wash a baby or child, etc.) can lead to improvements in health status and reduce the risk of disease and injury.  All works carried out in the Housing for Health projects are prioritised in terms of health benefit following the priorities of Safety and the 9 Healthy Living Practices.

What does this mean for these 10 projects?

This means over 550 houses and close to 4,000 residents across 10 different communities will directly benefit from these 10 new Housing for Health projects.

Local community members will be trained and employed to work on each project where they will survey and test over 250 items in each house. This will then lead to immediate improvements in health hardware and therefore health through the reduction in risk of disease and injury.  Local community teams will work alongside NT plumbers, electricians and builders for all fix work.