Good signs for indigenous home ownership

Thirty-six per cent of indigenous households owned their own home outright or with a home loan, according to the 2011 census.

That was roughly half of the amount of non-indigenous households in the same category. It is reason to continue closing the gap.

Indigenous Business Australia will hold a series of free information sessions across Gippsland this month, to help inform local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

IBA Homes marketing and promotions manager Richard Burton said the aim was to nullify the fear of home ownership and increase the economic independence of Gippsland’s indigenous community.

“We don’t want people to suddenly jump in and do it (get a home loan); we want people to give it very serious thought,” Mr Burton said.

“There is a process and when you’re looking at getting into a home loan, it’s a very serious but exciting part of your life and you need to be prepared to be committed in the long term of paying that loan off.”

IBA is a statutory authority that reports to the Federal Government.

It promotes economic independence for indigenous Australians by assisting people with home and business loans.

In 2014-15 the organisation financed 517 new home loans to the value of about $150 million – 80 per cent of which were in remote or regional Australia.

IBA currently has 36 loans in total for Gippsland area with 12 of those settled in the past 12 months.

“That means 36 loans for families or individuals who are no longer in the rental market; they have actually secured their own property and they’ve become economically independent,” Mr Burton said.

“They don’t have the hassle of rental inspections or insecurity because they’re having to move (all the time).”

Next week from 23 until 26 August, IBA will set up shop in Bairnsdale, Sale and Morwell so the local indigenous community can find out more about owning homes.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who would like to find out more are encouraged to register their place for an upcoming information session.

Tuesday 23 August – GEGAC Children Youth and Family Services Program Office, Shop 3/107 Nicholson Street, Bairnsdale

Wednesday 24 August – GEGAC Children Youth and Family Services Program Office, Shop 3/107 Nicholson Street, Bairnsdale

Thursday 25 August – Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation, 117 Foster Street, Sale

Friday 26 August – Central Gippsland Aboriginal Health & Housing Co-operative, 7/9 Buckley Street, Morwell

Phone Steph Rogers from IBA on 9920 6001 or email to book your place.