Update on NT election housing promises: building starts

A year ago (July 2016) Healthabitat published this article about the impending NT election. Back then, both major parties were making big promises to construct houses and reduce crowding.

In September last year, Labour won the election on the back of promises which included:

  • $1.1 billion of NT money over ten years for housing.
  • $10 million per year.
  • 600 extra rooms a year (granny flats, kitchens and bathrooms).
  • Contracting local and indigenous organisations.

On 5 July 2017 SBS reported that the NT’s rollout of the $1.1bln had begun. The SBS article noted that the NT has Australia’s worst rates of crowding, with Aboriginal people representing 98 per cent of those living in severely overcrowded conditions. It also noted that “Crowded housing affects a child’s capacity to maintain hygiene, allows infections to pass quickly, and increases exposure to cigarette smoke and loud noises.”

In our article a year back we put forward the proposition that fixing existing houses can dramatically improve crowding. The good news is that the SBS reports the NT’s new Labour government plans to spend $200m of the $1.1bln on repairs and maintenance.

We’ll watch this space closely to see whether the Labour will keep their promises, repair and maintain existing homes and improve the health of their indigenous constituents. More to come in the following months…