Pictures of WA’s remote public housing have emerged online recently, showing the low quality of the public housing available to the aboriginal communities.
These images have triggered calls for the State Government to spend more money on good quality housing for the aboriginal communities.
Minister for housing, Peter Tinley, said the dwellings in the remote communities have an average life span of 8 years and the constant attention that is required to maintain these properties is more expensive than actually building them.
“We are currently sitting in a situation where we’ll lose $100million dollars worth of funding of commonwealth contribution to that particular program and will make delivering services and outcomes to aboriginal people very difficult,” he explained.
The pictures shared online show run down, ramshackle properties.
Ngalla Maya Founder, Mervyn Eades, said 90% of the houses are not suitable to live in, exposing people to health hazards like asbestos and mould.
“Some of the houses I’ve seen I cannot believe the department of housing have people paying rent for these places… As you know a lot of the ministers talk about the remote communities, it’s not only the remote… communities it’s metro perth!”
“The houses are not liveable and should not have families living in them,” he said.
The under maintenance of these properties is the most concerning, with Mr Eades explaining you could call them today and would be lucky enough to get someone out in a month’s time.
“The housing is not up to standard, and it’s not up to standard as far as the families commitment to looking after them. The blame cannot be put upon our people all the time…”
“Our people try to maintain these houses, but the houses are not liveable,” he said.
Mr Eades says the Department of Housing is at fault for not building enough liveable houses for the growing population within the aboriginal communities.
He says many aboriginal families are living below national living standards, similar to back in the day where they moved from reserves to tin houses, one of the lowest quality housing available.
“Our people always seem to have found our way to the lowest quality of houses for years and years,” he said.
When asked if Mr Eades has hope that this issue can be improved upon, he replied:
“Hope? That’s all our people have ever had… but it’s gotta be a bit more than hope. We need reassurance that the housing issues can be address straight away.”