Gunner Govt Launches New Housing Program

Gunner Govt Launches New Housing Program

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner

Northern Territory Minister for Housing and Community Development Gerry McCarthy

More Jobs, Better Housing, Local Control – Room To Breathe Officially Launched

Victor P Taffa

Gunner Territory Government’s record $1.1 Billion 10-year housing program took a significant step forward today with a key component Room to Breathe officially launched in Milikapiti.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner, Housing and Community Development Minister Gerry McCarthy and Member for Arafura Lawrence Costa launched the milestone program, which will see additional living spaces built onto existing houses in remote Indigenous communities.

$10 Million fast-tracked program focuses on extensions rather than entire new builds, and will reduce overcrowding and create local jobs in remote Indigenous communities.

Milikapiti is one of the first communities where work will begin to roll out, and will receive around $500,000 this financial year. The local housing reference group, made up of locals, will meet there today and make the decisions about what is needed and who delivers on this Tiwi-run project.

Consultation and local delivery of better housing are key to this Government’s housing strategy.

“Territorians deserve a Government that puts them first and listens and consults before taking action that work is now officially underway on this massive housing project.” Chief Minister Gunner said.

“We know that overcrowded housing creates huge social problems in remote communities. It affects school attendance and is a detriment to health outcomes.”

“We are restoring trust in Government by creating jobs, investing in children and building safer, fairer and stronger communities and Room to Breathe will deliver on each of those fronts.”

Several options for housing extensions have been developed, with some housing conversions able to be delivered by local enterprise for as low as $13,500. Larger extensions will cost up to $225,000.

Conversions and extensions will include extra rooms, granny flats, new verandahs and extensions, making verandahs more secure and using space more effectively. These options take into account local needs, disability access and different housing styles.

This strategy allows the community to have greater say in how this improved housing is delivered and means Indigenous enterprise and local councils with high levels of Aboriginal employment are able to complete the works. This means more local control and more jobs in remote communities.

NT Minister for Essential Services Gerry McCarthy

NT Minister for Housing and Community Development Gerry McCarthy









Mr. McCarthy said $10 Million was recently fast-tracked to this financial year to allow construction work to begin in the next few months.

“All Territorians are entitled to control over their life and access to high quality services and when our remote communities and regions are strong the Territory is strong.” Mr. McCarthy said.

“The Territory has significant housing problems so we are working with local people to build homes where families can raise healthy children these houses will be delivered by a local workforce which will build the local economy.”

Chief Minister Gunner said the Territory Government is giving communities more say over their lives by restoring local decision making in housing, health and education.

“A number of communities have already been identified by Government as having high levels of over-crowding and where current Indigenous businesses have the capacity to undertake the work.” Chief Minister Gunner said.

‘Room to Breathe’ program is different and exciting in that it will see new living spaces built that do not require changes to water or sewerage infrastructure.

Mr. Costa said good housing is a right for all Territorians and these extra living spaces will make houses more liveable and allow families to continue to live together and improve lives.

“We know a good home leads to a good education, good health and good community outcomes this project will deliver benefits right across the Territory and for every Territorian.” Mr. Costa said.

“The Territory Government is listening to communities, such as Milikapiti, about the way the overall remote housing program could be delivered most effectively in that area.”

Consultation is ongoing with land councils, regional councils, Indigenous business enterprises, housing groups, Aboriginal peak organisations and local businesses throughout the Territory.