PM has run out of excuses to walk away from remote housing funding

Queensland’s peak body for the housing and homelessness sector, Q Shelter, has called on the Prime Minister to step up and provide Commonwealth funding for remote housing in Queensland.

Q Shelter’s Executive Director, Leone Crayden, said that the PM had run out of excuses to fund a new National Partnership Agreement on Remote Housing (NPRH) now that the Queensland Government had announced a $1.08 billion funding commitment for remote housing.

“The Commonwealth has used every excuse they can to walk away from funding NPRH, but the facts remain the same – Queensland’s delivered housing on time, on budget, and exceeded local Aboriginal employment targets.” Ms Crayden said.

Ms Crayden said that the Prime Minister’s own report into the program last year praised state governments for exceeding their targets in delivering new homes, refurbishing older houses, and providing employment opportunities for local communities.

Ms Crayden said that investment in this housing was providing employment to young people in remote communities through a training and skills program and was crucial in achieving targets for “Closing the Gap” on Indigenous disadvantage.

Ms Crayden stressed that despite this success, the job was far from over in addressing housing need in remote communities.

“The Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, justified walking away from NPRH by arguing that the states needed to have skin in the game when it came to remote housing.”

“Well, the Queensland Government has also now publicly committed more than $1b toward remote housing, so it’s time to see a similar commitment from the Commonwealth.”

“We’re calling on the PM to not walk away from funding remote housing. It’s time to pick up the phone, make a deal, and finish the job together.”

Click  to read QShelter’s position paper on this issue.