Federal Budget fails to respond to scope of Aboriginal housing needs

Federal Budget fails to respond to scope of Aboriginal housing needs  


The 2023-24 Federal Budget fails to recognise the diversity of Aboriginal housing needs, focusing on remote Australia and leaving urban and regional Aboriginal communities behind yet again. 


While the budget contains some commitments that will support the delivery of housing services to Aboriginal* Victorians, the Northern Territory is the only jurisdiction to receive direct Federal funding to build new social and community housing.  


Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Forum Chair and Aboriginal Housing Victoria CEO Darren Smith said the Budget ignores indisputable data showing Victoria has the highest rates of Aboriginal people seeking specialist homelessness services nationally.  


“Seventeen per cent of Victoria’s Aboriginal population sought homelessness assistance in the last year alone – this budget does nothing to alleviate our fears that urban and regional Aboriginal people will be left behind again,” Mr Smith said.  


"We welcome the promise of 1200 homes per state per year through the Housing Australia Future Fund legislation – but this Bill is not guaranteed to pass.


“We want the Government to fund the creation of a National Aboriginal Housing and Homelessness Plan, using Victoria’s successful Mana-na worn-tyeen maar-takoort: Every Aboriginal Person Has a Home framework as a guide.” 


Mr Smith said the increase to Commonwealth Rent Assistance, $300 million for social housing energy efficiency upgrades, funding to Aboriginal Hostels Ltd and $2.7 million to support the delivery of priority housing measures were welcome but noted the details on the priority measures have not been outlined as yet.  


"Furthermore, the Government’s plan for three more members to be appointed to the National Supply and Affordability Council is important but it must include Victorian Aboriginal representation,” he said. 


 “Aboriginal housing and homelessness is so much more than overcrowding in remote areas – we need the Government to understand and invest in this truth and without our voices and our solutions, this will be impossible.” 


* The term ‘Aboriginal’ is used to refer to both Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples


Contact: communications@ahvic.org.au