The NT Government’s decision to take a tenancy management program away from an Aboriginal-owned housing organisation and give it to a private business could lead to more homelessness and overcrowding in Alice Springs Town Camps.

Tangentyere Council CEO Walter Shaw has called on the NT Government to review the Housing Department’s decision to take the contract from the Central Australian Affordable Housing Company (CAAHC) and give it to a business service company.

“This decision is yet another example of how the NT Government’s housing policies are completely failing Aboriginal people,” Mr Shaw said.

“CAAHC has been operating the tenancy management service contract for five years and has established good relationships and a wealth of experience in Town Camps.

“CAAHC would advocate for Town Camp tenants with the Housing Department and push to get repairs and maintenance carried out on our houses.

“I suspect the new contractor will do the bare minimum and be there to represent the interests of the department rather than the tenants.

“Town Campers are concerned this will lead to even longer waiting times for repairs and more people being made homeless because of bureaucratic inaction.

“We already wait months for repairs and many properties are unsafe, even with CAAHC in there advocating. We are very concerned this is only going to get much worse.

“In March 2015 Tangentyere and other organisations at the APONT Housing Summit outlined to Housing Minister Bess Price how the current approach on housing was failing Aboriginal people.

“We called for a housing system that would put Aboriginal people back in control of the design, construction and management of Aboriginal housing – exactly what CAAHC was set up to do in Alice Springs.

 “Chief Minister Adam Giles and Minister Price have to explain why their department has dumped an organisation the Ministers themselves have praised and supported.

“It is a direct contravention of the Chief Minister’s recent commitment to grow Indigenous businesses.

“This decision has created a wet turd for the Chief Minister – it stinks and will stick to his boots for a very long time.”


January 7, 2016