Indigenous housing loses out as cash diverted

States and territories are spending up to 34 per cent of federal funds provided for remote indigenous housing on “ancillary costs”, but those governments also blame Canberra for poor living conditions in the bush, arguing it has not committed to ongoing payments.

A review of the nation’s top indigenous housing program, revealed yesterday by The Australian, found three out of four jurisdictions were spending ­double-digit percentages of all federal indigenous housing grants on things other than home construction. WA’s “ancillary costs” were ­estimated at 34 per cent, Queensland’s were 20 per cent, the NT’s 15 per cent and SA’s 7 per cent, the expert panel’s report found. It also found only 10 to 20 per cent of ongoing repairs, maintenance and tenancy management charges were being recovered despite a doubling of average rents.

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