Tangentyere Council today announced that the Alice Springs Town Camp Housing Associations had agreed to the terms and conditions for the sub-lease of their Special Purposes Leases offered by the Australian Government. The way is now clear to begin addressing the enormous accumulation of need built through years of neglect by government authorities
The main sticking point had always been the fate of people who might face eviction by Territory housing, when the government took over tenancy management in the Town camps. Tangentyere was concerned that people would end up sleeping in the Todd River and other public spaces. Tangentyere President, Walter Shaw said the housing Associations were prepared to go to the precipice on this, as some residents of town camps had previously been tenants of Territory Housing.
Walter Shaw, said “we are talking about the poorest of the poor, people who have been ground into the dirt by decades of poverty. People who are unlikely to be able to make an overnight transition into a model Territory Housing tenant. “People who, because of often tragic family histories, need extra help and may struggle in a non Aboriginal streetscape but could be helped through amongst their own, People for whom culturally specific policies and procedures need to be in place.”
Mr Shaw said that the Housing Associations believed that the extra measures Governments are prepared to introduce go a long way to addressing their concerns. “We are relieved that extra help will be given to people to meet their tenancy obligations, to extend rather than shorten their enjoyment of a decent house and to be provided expanded services in alcohol rehabilitation, family support, as well as tenancy management. For those who still face eviction there will also be additional support for transient and homeless people in Alice Springs.
“Finally, the Council is very relieved that this most difficult period in a tumultuous history of the Alice Springs Town Camps has been resolved. Our resolute negotiations have achieved significant success, but we acknowledge the pain for all concerned,” said Walter Shaw.