The historic first sale of a publicly-owned house to a private owner under the Sale of Remote Housing Policy in a remote Northern Territory community has been completed today.
Mr Stanley Tipiloura and Ms Viviana Wanambi have used a home loan from the Commonwealth’s Indigenous Business Australia to buy a three-bedroom home in the Tiwi Islands community of Wurrumiyanga. The couple settled on the loan to purchase the house from the NT Government today.
Mr Tipiloura and Ms Wanambi now join 15 other Tiwi families who have had the opportunity to become home owners in Wurrumiyanga under the township lease negotiated by the Commonwealth in 2007.
The house, built in 2001, was refurbished in 2011 through a joint Commonwealth-Northern Territory Government housing investment.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the Coalition Government was committed to opening up further opportunities for home ownership in remote NT communities.
“I worked with the Giles Country Liberals Northern Territory Government to establish the Sale of Remote Housing Policy by making it a condition of Commonwealth housing investment and I am pleased to see the policy delivering better housing outcomes for residents in remote communities,” Minister Scullion said.
Mr Tipiloura said that home ownership was something he had always wanted.
“It’s every father’s dream to be able to own his own home for his family and his future; I am very lucky that this has happened. I would like to say a special thanks to my wife Viviana and my three children. This will make a big difference to their futures,” Mr Tipiloura said.
“I sincerely hope that both governments continue the home ownership programme so that other Aboriginal people living in remote areas are also able to purchase their own homes and make a difference to their families. A special thanks to my case manager Katie Young for all her help.”
The Commonwealth, represented by the Executive Director of Township Leasing, holds a 99-year township lease over the community of Wurrumiyanga.
“The township lease and the work of the Executive Director of Township Leasing has brought significant benefit to the community of Wurrumiyanga. For the first time Aboriginal people living on their traditional lands in the Northern Territory have been able to access finance and invest in private home ownership,” Minister Scullion said.
“The Commonwealth’s land reform agenda and township lease model allows traditional owners and community residents to create economic opportunities while still recognising the underlying Aboriginal land tenure and respecting cultural responsibilities.
“The Executive Director has worked in partnership with the Mantiyupwi traditional owners to establish a regularised system of tenure in Wurrumiyanga to enable home ownership, economic and community development opportunities.
“The Executive Director of Township Leasing and the Northern Territory Government are working in partnership to enable further home ownership opportunities for residents in both the Tiwi Islands and Groote Eylandt Archipelago communities covered by township leases.”