Housing study aims to improve health of First Australians

A new study will evaluate the impact of housing policies on the health and wellbeing of First Nations people, thanks to a $250,000 grant from the Federal Government.

Shelter WA will lead this work around the country to assess environmental health impacts, short term versus long term policy vision and how we manage the construction and maintenance of housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The 2017 national My Life My Lead report highlighted housing’s importance, finding better housing conditions would improve First Australians’ health and were also linked to increased participation in education, employment and the community.

Minister for Indigenous Health the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said that the Government’s Remote Housing Review, completed in partnership with leading Indigenous Australians, found that there had been a significant decrease in the proportion of overcrowded households in remote and very remote areas, falling from 52.1 per cent to 37.4 per cent by 2018.

“The Commonwealth remains committed to future investment in remote Indigenous housing and has agreed to provide $550 million for future remote housing investment in the Northern Territory. Offers for further investment in Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia remain on the table for state governments to consider,” Mr Wyatt said.

“Shelter WA will work closely with project partners the National Aboriginal Congress and National Shelter to deliver this study, helping to ensure there is a strong First Nations voice and national perspective in future housing policy.”

Work will commence immediately with the results of the study expected to be concluded by mid-2019.