Australian Indigenous Law Review
Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, and PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC) review of the Community Housing and Infrastructure Project
This report assessed the Community Housing and Infrastructure Programme (CHIP), in operation since the 1960s. The report recommended a new replacement to CHIP for remote and very remote Indigenous communities.
The report identified several problems surrounding housing for Indigenous Australians. These include a lack of public housing; little or no private rental housing; and limited opportunity for home ownership. The report documented a series of failures of Indigenous housing programmes resulting in poorly targeted and inappropriate accommodation for Indigenous people.
The report found that CHIP funding was being used as a substitute for mainstream public housing in urban and regional areas – a poor outcome according to the report, since CHIP funding has been vulnerable to incidents of financial and operational mismanagement.
The report found that CHIP in its current form contributes to policy confusion, complex administration and poor outcomes and accountability of government funded housing, infrastructure and municipal services. The report therefore recommended that CHIP should be abolished, and attempts should be made to foster individual home ownership on community and freehold land.
The Federal Government has declared that in light of the report they plan to move Indigenous housing into the mainstream community housing sector, and scrap funding of Indigenous housing in urban areas. It is also the stated intention of the Federal Government to promote Indigenous home ownership Australia-wide as a major policy goal.
The full text of Living in the Sunburnt Country – Indigenous Housing: Findings of the Review of the Community Housing and Infrastructure Programme is available at the Community Housing Online website: <http://chirs.infoxchange.net.au/cms/items/2007/03/142295-upload-00001.pdf> .