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Building homes for the future

Building homes for the future

Posted 07 October 2020
  • $150 million equity injection for Indigenous Australians to construct homes in regional areas.

    Alan and Jemma outside their home
    Alan and Jemma outside the home they built in Western Australia (Image: The Digital Factory)
  • Construction will stimulate industry growth and inject necessary money into jobs.
  • Supports long term plan for Indigenous Australians to be integral part of Australian economy.

Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) will receive $150 million in funding from the Federal Government over 2 years to stimulate construction and employment opportunities in regional locations. This equity injection will provide funding to support more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people obtain a home loan to build their own home.

The additional funding will be committed over the next 2 years as part of IBA’s Indigenous Home Ownership Program and will enable people to access home ownership sooner.

IBA’s home ownership program is one of the longest standing programs successfully supporting economic self-management and self-sufficiency for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Over the life of the program, close to 20,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been able to achieve their goal of owning a home, often becoming the first person in their family history to do so. In the past five years alone, IBA has provided more than $1 billion in home loans to a record number of applicants.

IBA CEO, Rajiv Viswanathan, noted that the organisation is constantly looking for ways to innovate, and expand funding wherever possible.

‘Demand for IBA’s home loan offering continues to grow at unprecedented rates, and we are committed to investigating as many ways as possible to grow available funds to assist more people to get into home ownership, building on the tremendous success of the Indigenous Home Ownership Program.

‘Home ownership is a key pillar on the journey to economic independence, providing not only stable housing, but also an anchor from which to build an asset base for current and future generations, and equity for other investment and business opportunities.

‘The ability for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and families to construct their own home will not only fulfil their dreams of home ownership but stimulate the economy at a time when we need it most.’

Jemma and Alan moved into their newly built home in January 2020. They know firsthand what it has meant to be build their dream as a homeowner. Alan, a Whadjuk Noongar man, said it was the worth the wait to get into a home that was new and all their own.

‘We wanted this for so long. It’s just so good. We can relax now,’ said Alan. ‘What we’re paying in mortgage now is what we were paying for rent so instead of paying someone else’s mortgage, we’re paying our own.

‘Budgeting is a major thing and doing your research. Find out the information before you say you can’t do it. Go talk to IBA and find out.

‘We enjoyed coming each weekend through the build and seeing each stage.’

Alan and Jemma used COVID isolation as a time to fix up their garden and things around the house. ‘This is ours. It’s perfect – it’s exactly how we wanted it.’

Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt AM MP met with the homeowners at their new place to discuss what constructing their own home meant to them.

‘We discussed the benefits of owning your own home, including long-term wealth creation, financial security and independence,’ said the Minister.

The equity injection forms part of Australia’s overall economic stimulus package to get all Australians back on their feet and ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are an integral part of that recovery.

IBA Chairperson and Dagoman man Eddie Fry emphasised the importance of this opportunity for both the Australian economy and the Indigenous community.

‘We know that secure and stable housing plays a huge role in being able to build a happy and prosperous life, but it is much more than that – there are also substantial economic benefits to all of Australia.’

Interviews and pictures available upon request.
Media contact: Tara Toohill: 0427 011 938 or tara.toohill@iba.gov.au