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Indigenous Community Housing Organisations

Indigenous Community Housing Organisations provide subsidised rental accommodation for community residents.

Under NPARIH, we paid the States to help the ICHOs upgrade their housing stock and improve the ongoing management of the houses. To receive the payments to upgrade the housing stock, ICHOs had to go through a formal accreditation process.

An Indigenous Community Housing Organisation (ICHO) is any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation which owns or is responsible for managing community housing. ICHOs also manage tenancy arrangements, collect rents and perform housing maintenance. 

Between the early 1970s to the mid-2000s, ICHOs received grant funding from successive Commonwealth Indigenous Affairs bodies to purchase housing and other types of properties. As the provider of funding for these purchases, the Commonwealth was granted legal rights and interests in the ICHO properties. ICHOs are required to use grant funded properties for a specified purpose and obtain Commonwealth consent for any dealings with the properties regardless of how long ago the grant was provided. If this does not occur, the Commonwealth has the right to request return of grant funds.

In 1993, the Commonwealth became aware that a number of grant funded properties were being sold without the Commonwealth’s knowledge. Since that time the Commonwealth has actively enforced its rights over these properties to ensure they are used to deliver housing outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

If an organisation would like to sell or change the use of one of these properties, they must first seek the approval of the Commonwealth. Organisations should contact their local NIAA Regional Office to obtain information and advice on this process.

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