Excerpt from an article written by Paige Taylor titled, ‘More Indigenous move into home ownership group’, and published in The Australian on 11 September 2019.
More Indigenous Australians than ever are homeowners, fewer live in overcrowded accommodation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who rent are slowly shifting away from social housing in favour of private properties.
Figures to be published on Wednesday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show almost two in five Indigenous Australians were homeowners at the last census — of those, 12 per cent owned their home outright and 26 per cent had a mortgage. The number of Indigenous households where the home is paid off or mortgaged has reached an estimated 263,000.
The rate of home ownership among Indigenous Australians has gradually increased since 2006, while the home ownership rate among non-Indigenous Australians has decreased slightly over the same period.
In 2006, 34 per cent of Indigenous Australians owned their home or were paying it off.
By 2011 that figure had climbed to 36 per cent and at the 2016 census, 38 per cent of Indigenous Australians either owned their homes outright or were paying off a mortgage.
In contrast, the percentage of non-Indigenous Australians who either owned their home or were paying it off declined from 68 per cent in 2006 to 66 per cent in 2016.
Dagoman-Wardaman man and chairman of Indigenous Business Australia Eddie Fry oversees a home loan program that is helping increasing numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into home ownership.
IBA approved more than $1bn in home loans to Indigenous Australians over the past five years.
In 2014-15, IBA approved 517 home loans to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In 2017-18, the number of home loans approved by IBA was a record 917.
“Home ownership has an opportunity to formulate the next wave of transformative success for indigenous people,” Mr Fry said.
“Home ownership is a key pillar on the journey to economic independence for indigenous Australians, 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.”