The Northern Territory Government has revealed it will need almost half a billion dollars in additional funding to deliver its promised 10-year $1.1-billion housing program for remote Indigenous communities.
The Territory is counting on the Commonwealth to come up with some of the extra money, which is needed to prepare land so new houses can be built.
“We’re at the table with the Commonwealth,” Housing Minister Gerry McCarthy said.
Mr McCarthy and NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner were in the Arnhem Land community of Ramingining promoting the first stage of the NT Government’s remote housing program, which involves adding new rooms to existing homes.
The Government has been keen to show the remote housing program is hitting the ground and has held six media events promoting the scheme in seven months.
Under the first works, seven houses in Ramingining – a community of 800 people – are getting an extra room.
At Rose Wurrguwurrgu’s house, part of the verandah is being converted into a room so she and her son will no longer need to sleep on the verandah in a tent.
“I’m really happy to stay in my new room,” she said.
Mr Gunner said the “Room to Breathe” program, which has been rolled out in 21 remote NT communities, would help alleviate overcrowding while new housing was delivered.