In July 2017 National Congress conducted a National Housing Workshop to discuss the establishment of a National Indigenous peak body as a mechanism to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a voice in housing advocacy, guidance and expert advice to all State and Federal Government politicians on policies, agreements, programs, standards and funding.
A keynote speaker at that workshop was Minister Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs who stated that “employment, proper housing, education, safety and wellbeing are all connected, and he would like the National Indigenous Housing Peak to set their policies and work with him in partnership to address these important social issues”.
The Report from this meeting provided several objectives for a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Peak to progress:
- focus on housing security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,
- advocate for the ongoing support for remote communities to prevent community closures;
- work with communities to develop a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander housing strategy, with the aim of improving the housing outcomes for our people across all forms of housing tenure;
- covers all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait housing – social, public, homelessness, affordable housing, housing management, home ownership and support services;
- identification of stock across each jurisdiction, management of caveats/registrations of interest;
- Review/development of the National Aboriginal Housing Standards;
- Provide culturally appropriate rental, mortgage and financial literacy advice.A second meeting and workshop was held in Sydney in October 2017 and was attended by representatives from each State and Territory. The outcome of this meeting included the reinforcement and support for the establishment of the Aboriginal Housing Peak Body – NATSIHA therefore creating voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – for the needs of housing in line with the intended objectives.