National Partnership Agreements

National Partnership on Remote Housing

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In 2016 a new National Partnership on Remote Housing (NPRH) was negotiated to replace the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH). The NPRH focuses on addressing critical housing need for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in remote communities, improving service delivery, leveraging employment and business opportunities and creating more sustainable housing systems. The NPRH came into effect on 1 July 2016 and will conclude on 30 June 2018.

As part of the NPRH, the Commonwealth, Northern Territory (NT), Queensland (QLD), South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA) Governments are:

  • improving property and tenancy management delivery so houses last longer, and tenants have a formal agreement of their rights and responsibilities;
  • increasing employment and participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people;
  • ensuring higher levels of engagement of Indigenous businesses in the delivery of housing and housing services; and
  • removing barriers around home ownership opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly those from remote communities.

The Commonwealth committed $776.403 million over two years under the NPRH, and will pay for completed milestones and performance benchmarks as set out in the jointly agreed state-specific schedules to the agreement.

Further information about the National Partnership and copies of the State Schedules can be found at the Council on Federal Financial Relations website.

The 2018-19 Budget announces new funding for remote housing

On 23 April 2018, the Commonwealth committed $550 million over five years ($110 million per annum) to support remote housing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the Northern Territory. This funding will be matched by Northern Territory Government contributions. Negotiations remain ongoing with Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland however the Commonwealth remains hopeful of reaching an agreement with these jurisdictions soon

2017-18 represents the largest year of funding for capital works across Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the three states and the Northern Territory have agreed to continue to capital works beyond 30 June 2018 to maximise Indigenous employment, training and business engagement opportunities. All capital works will be contracted or underway by 30 June 2018 with monitoring milestones in place to ensure progress is tracked until completion. Some larger scale Employment and Education Housing (EEH) projects will continue into 2019.

Minister Scullion’s media release is here. A joint media release from the Hon. Scott Morrison MP - Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia and the Hon. Nicole Manison MLA - Northern Territory Treasurer is here.

How is NPRH different from NPARIH?

At the start of the NPARIH the focus was on developing and establishing new systems. This has now moved to refining services and programmes to lift outcomes for tenants. The NPRH addresses a greater need in the remaining states, focusing on elements of good practice and strengthening performance measurement framework, with a greater focus on:

  • Building local employment opportunities
  • Engaging local Indigenous businesses and
  • Linking to Community Development Programme (CDP) works and activities.

Funding against milestones for these elements ensures better outcomes, with a greater focus on integrated solutions.

Further information about the Community Development Programme is available.

Total NPRH 2016 - 2018 Funding: $776.403m

NPRH funding shows NT having $290.330m, QLD $245.172, SA $26.805m, WA $214.096m

NPRH 2016 - 2018 Funding by Milestone Element

NPRH 2016 – 2018 – New Houses

* Completions to 30 March 2018

NPRH 2016 – 2018 – Refurbishments

NPRH Employment and Education Housing (EEH) Targets 2016 – 2018

Employment and Education Housing (EEH) is accommodation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly from remote communities, to support employment, education and training outside of their communities. EEH accommodation can be made up of a shared boarding facility with multiple bedrooms or self-contained houses and units.

NT Ganyangara Employee accommodation facility (Ganyangara)

Project will deliver nine three bedroom houses and a quadplex of four one bedroom units. Project will be delivered, owned and managed by Gumatj Corporation Ltd to support their Yolngu employment outcomes in its construction business and other Gumatj Corporation Ltd business ventures.

QLD NRL Cowboys House (Townsville)

NRL Cowboys House is a 50 bed facility located in Townsville and is a joint venture between Commonwealth Government, the NRL, North Qld Cowboys and the Queensland Government.

Management and operational costs are the responsibility of the NRL, NQ Cowboys and the Queensland Government.

QLD Kaziw Meta (Thursday Island)

A joint venture between the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments to expand the Kaziw Meta boarding facility on Thursday Island to facilitate more access to secondary education opportunities. As part of a staged approach, 24 extra beds will be delivered by December 2019, ready for 2020 enrolments.

SA Ninti Ngura (Adelaide)

For young Aboriginal people from remote communities who wish to pursue a vocational or higher education pathway at a variety of tertiary institutions in Adelaide. Outreach programme will be available to students at the Wiltja Secondary school to provide information and build expectations about tertiary education and pathways.

WA St Catherine’s College, The University of WA (Perth)

The facility is an extension to Perth’s St Catherine’s college and will enable remote Aboriginal students to access education opportunities in an urban setting. The expansion is expected to be complete by March 2019.

WA Transitional Housing (Broome)

Under EEH, fifty transitional houses are being constructed as part of the North West Aboriginal Housing Fund (NWAHF) due for completion in 2021. Five Indigenous apprenticeship positions are being supported as part of this initiative. A further five transitional houses are also being built outside of the NWAHF.

NPRH 2016 – 2018 Indigenous Employment Targets

Indigenous Employment (IE) encourages employment opportunities in remote communities by offering skills based on the delivery of housing and housing. These skills can be used to promote further employment opportunities for participants in the future.

State

Activity

1st Milestone

2nd Milestone

Target

Achieved

Target

Achieved

NT

All activities (Capital Works and property & tenancy management) *

30%

55%

35%

51%

QLD

Capital Works ^

30%

40%

30%

Reporting due April 2018

Property and Tenancy Management  **

35%

38.8%

35%

SA

Capital Works ^

25%

29%

30%

Reporting due April 2018

Property Management ^

30%

45.5%

35%

Tenancy Management *

30%

30%

WA

Capital Works **

Property and Tenancy Management **

40%

15%

44%

51%

40%

15%

Reporting due April 2018

* As of December 2017
** Number of full time equivalent positions (FTE)
*** Number of people employed (head count)
^ Number of hours worked

NPRH 2016 – 2018 Indigenous Business Engagement Targets

The purpose of Indigenous Business Engagement (IBE) is to stimulate Indigenous economic development and growth, particularly in remote communities. By delivering housing and housing services in remote communities the demand for Indigenous goods and services increases.

State

Business Type

Target

Achieved

NT

All activities *

30%

34%

QLD

Capital works ^

30%

89%

Property management ^

50%

70%

SA

All activities *

30%

40%

WA

All activities
(2017 reporting)

30%

50%

All activities
(2018 reporting)

30%

Due April 2018

* As at December 2017
**By dollar value percentage of contracts     
^ By number of contracts
All Activities = capital works, Property management (repairs & maintenance) and Tenancy management

The History of the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH)

In 2008, the Council of Australian Governments agreed six targets for closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage relating to life expectancy, child mortality, access to early childhood education, educational attainment and employment outcomes. Safe and appropriate housing was identified as a fundamental requirement for addressing these issues and the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH) was initiated to address this.

The Commonwealth allocated $5.4 billion to NPARIH over 10 years to help address significant overcrowding, homelessness, poor housing condition and severe housing shortages in remote Indigenous communities. While only one quarter of Indigenous people live in remote areas, this group has the greatest level of housing need. Of the Indigenous Australians living in remote areas, the 2014-15 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey* (NATSISS) showed that:

  • More than 36 percent lived in housing with major structural issues like sinking foundations, sagging floors, termites, or roof defects.
  • Close to 28 percent had facilities that were not available or did not work.
  • More than 43 percent lived in overcrowded houses requiring one or more additional bedrooms to accommodate residents

Overcrowding puts stress on household infrastructure such as food preparation areas and ablution systems. This can impact people’s physical health, through disease and chronic infection. It can also affect their mental health which, in turn, affects people’s ability to participate in education and employment. Severe overcrowding was the most common cause of homelessness for Indigenous people living in remote Australia.

What have the National Partnerships delivered?

Housing is a key contributor to the Government’s priorities of getting children to school, adults in to work and providing for safe communities. In partnership with the state and Northern Territory governments, NPARIH and NPRH have delivered significant housing outcomes. As at 30 March 2018:

  • Over 300 communities have received housing works;
  • 3,506 new houses and 7,393 refurbishments/rebuilds had been completed;
  • Over 80 percent of houses touched have three or more bedrooms;
  • 98 percent of NPARIH/NPRH houses have tenancy agreements in place to ensure the rights and obligations of tenants;
  • 170 houses and nine hostels with 262 beds have been delivered to provide employment and education related accommodation, which supports Indigenous people accessing education and training opportunities;
  • Indigenous employment in construction was maintained at 30 percent or higher; and
  • NPARIH and NPRH have helped to reduce the levels of overcrowding in remote areas. From 2008 to 2014 the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey indicated, Indigenous households needing one or more extra bedrooms has decreased from to 48 per cent** to 38 percent*.

* National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2014-15, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra 2015
** National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey 2008, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra 2010
***Overcrowding determined by the Canadian National Occupancy Standard: Census of Population and Housing: estimating homelessness, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra 2012

2008 - 2018 Funding to the States and the Northern Territory

View tables for 10 year funding by year and by milestone element.

At the commencement of NPARIH in 2008, the Commonwealth had agreements with all jurisdictions except for the ACT. Funds were provided to the states and the Northern Territory to build and upgrade remote housing, improve the management of the their housing stock and create job opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the NPARIH building programme.

In 2014, the Commonwealth negotiated buy out arrangements with Victoria and Tasmania, as the majority of the remote housing need was met. 

The Commonwealth has worked with NSW and determined it has addressed its most critical remote housing need. In May 2016, NSW agreed to an early exit from the partnership agreement and negotiated a buy-out arrangement with the Commonwealth.

2008 – 2018 - State's Proportion of Funding

* Victoria and Tasmania exited NPARIH after the 2014/15 year.
* New South Wales exited NPARIH after the 2015/16 year

2008 – 2018 - Funding by Milestone Element 

* Victoria and Tasmania exited NPARIH after the 2014/15 year.
** New South Wales exited NPARIH after the 2015/16 year
*** ICHO = Indigenous Community Housing Organisations
**** Milestones for Indigenous Employment, Indigenous Participation, Indigenous Business Engagement and Home Ownership were added to the National Partnership under the NPRH in 2016/17 and 2017/18

NPARIH was originally due to end on 30 June 2018; however, a decision was made to conclude this agreement on 30 June 2016. As of 1 July 2016, the National Partnership on Remote Housing (NPRH) commenced which refocuses the outcomes to include a greater emphasis on improved housing sustainability. The NPRH also provides greater Indigenous business engagement and employment opportunities.

2008-2018 New House Constructions to Date

* Completions to 30 March 2018
**Other = Commonwealth Own Purpose Expenses (COPE) and other Commonwealth funded programmes completed in the 2008 to 2018 timeframe

  • The Northern Territory has to date completed 17 additional ‘other’ new house constructions
  • Queensland has to date completed 3 additional ‘other’ new house constructions
  • South Australia has to date completed 33 additional ‘other’ new house constructions
  • Western Australia has to date completed 8 additional ‘other’ new house constructions

*** The assessment of need for new houses in WA has changed since the original COAG targets were proposed. As a result, the funds were moved to Refurbishments where WA has exceeded their target.

2008-2018 Rebuilds and Refurbishments Completions to Date

*Completions to 30 March 2018

** Other = Commonwealth Own Purpose Expenses (COPE) and other Commonwealth funded programmes completed in the 2008 to 2018 timeframe

  • South Australia has to date completed an additional 52 ‘Other’ refurbishments
  • New South Wales completed an additional 67 ‘Other’ refurbishments

*** The assessment of need for new houses in WA has changed since the original COAG targets were proposed. As a result, the funds were moved to Refurbishments where WA has exceeded their target.

NPARIH Capital Works as at 30 June 2016

Downloadable version of NPARIH Capital works map PDF 477 KB

Map showing areas of capital works as at 30 June 2016 Data is available on the linked PDF document

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased people.