By ERWIN CHLANDA
A program is under way to create 250 “affordable housing” dwellings in Alice Springs, within about three years.
Construction has started on the first project, 11 units in Gillen, obtained from a private developer. The first 50 dwellings are scheduled to come on stream by the end of next year.
They are being built and managed by Central Australian Affordable Housing (CAAH), a not-for-profit group founded by Tangentyere Council. The Central Land Council is a member of the company.
Funds are coming from sources including the Aboriginal Benefit Account ($4m so far), the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), borrowings and rents.
Once established, the scheme is designed to be self-sufficient and live on the rents collected, some of which would attract government support, says the CEO of CAAH, Hal Bisset.
“It is a self sustaining business,” he says. “Once it’s running and operational there will be no further subsidies. This is not public housing.”
Also part of Stage One will be 10 units in Braitling, the St Mary’s village south of The Gap leased from the Anglican Church (12 households), and 10 dwellings across two sites owned by CAAH in Gillen and Kilgariff, each block for medium density developments.
The CAAH dwellings have one, two or three bedrooms.
Mr Bisset says beyond that, in the “more ambitious” Stage Two, CAAH will pursue a string of options, guided by the experiences gained from Stage One.
There will be talks with private developers and real estate agents.
The CAAH says online it will be dealing with housing associations comprising of a “largely distinct Aboriginal community based on language and kinship groups” and the company “will provide people with affordable homes in Central Australia to support healthy communities, with focus on Aboriginal people”.
The company is also providing tenancy management for 270 dwellings in 17 town camps, a function prior to the Intervention carried out by Tangentyere.
Municipal functions, such as litter control and removal, went to the Alice Springs Town Council, which is farming out the work to Tangentyere and Ingkerreke.
PHOTOS from the CAAH website.