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New Indigenous housing scheme launched in NT -

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New Indigenous housing scheme launched in NT

Broadcast: 03/05/2007

Reporter: Daniel Parry

A new Federal Government housing scheme will offer Aboriginal families a government loan if they
can prove they are able to make repayments.

Transcript

LISA MILLAR: The Federal Government has launched a new Aboriginal housing scheme where families
will be offered a Government loan if they can prove they'll be able to make repayments. Under the
scheme, families will rent their new houses for two years and if payments are kept up they'll be
eligible for the loan. The Indigenous Affairs Minister travelled to a remote Top End outstation
today for the launch of the Rent to Buy Plan. Danielle Parry reports.

DANIELLE PARRY, REPORTER: Wadapuli is a tiny outstation of 35 permanent residents on the edge of a
flood plain near the troubled community of Wadeye in the Northern Territory's west. Two years ago,
the then Indigenous Affairs minister Amanda Vanstone described homelands like this as a cultural
museums that are no longer viable. But today families at Wadapuli and nearby Narma got the keys to
new homes purpose built by the Commonwealth.

MAL BROUGH, INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS MINISTER: Well done. Good stuff. Congratulations Joan.

DANIELLE PARRY: They're the first in Australia to start a new rent to buy housing scheme.

MAL BROUGH: And today you are sending out a message to the rest of Indigenous Australia to say you
can own your own home where you live.

ALOYSIUS NARJIC, OUTSTATION LEADER: I'm proud to be the first Indigenous community in Australia to
be a part of this program.

DANIELLE PARRY: Under the lease purchase program they're required to pay rent of about $150 a week,
maintain their properties and send their children to school. If they meet the conditions for two
years, they can buy their homes using a subsidised loan scheme and the Minister is confident they
can afford it.

MAL BROUGH: These families have been - gone through a very rigorous process of financial assessment
to ensure that they have the will, they have the financial capacity.

DANIELLE PARRY: Gabrielle Tardem took possession of his new house today, settling with family in
Wadapuli because it's more peaceful and safer than Wadeye.

GABRIELLE TARDEM: So we like to stay out here, more quiet.

DANIELLE PARRY: More people added their names to the waiting list today for new houses being built
this dry season. At the same time as building new homes in outstations, in the wake of last year's
riots, the Federal Government has funded a major renovation program for the rundown homes of
Wadeye. More than 70 houses have already been converted from slums to liveable homes. Another 70
are on the books. Today, the Minister also announced $3.7 million in funding for a child care
centre and a safe house to help victims of violence in Wadeye. Danielle Parry, Lateline.