Housing initiatives and strategies


This strategy is aimed at addressing antisocial behaviour in and around public housing using a range of preventative measures.

Public housing safety officers

Public housing safety officers work with tenants, neighbours and visitors to investigate, respond to and reduce antisocial behaviour in Alice Springs and Darwin public housing.

Red card policy

The red card policy scores the type and seriousness of antisocial behaviour in terms of demerit points. Tenants that are regular offenders will have demerit points issued to them and if they reach six demerit points may be evicted.

Visitor management policy

This policy gives tenants the support they need to manage their visitors and maintain their private space.

Acceptable behaviour agreements

This is a written agreement that the tenant has with the department not to engage in antisocial behaviour in or near the property.

Housing and Police working together

The department and the NT Police have an agreement to work closely together in regard to antisocial behaviour in and around public housing properties.

Read more about safety and antisocial behaviour in public housing on the Northern Territory Government website.

The Real Housing for Growth plan provides more affordable housing choices to people living in the Northern Territory (NT).

It consists of several different initiatives which aim to increase housing supply and ease housing cost pressures to support, attract and retain key workers in the NT.

For renters

There are a number of initiatives open to people renting in the NT.

Head-leasing initiative

This program provides NT Government backed head leases over privately owned dwellings, which are then rented to key service industry workers at 30% below market rates.

More information about the head-leasing initiative, including criteria can be found on the Northern Territory Government website.

National Rental Affordability Scheme

Provides affordable rentals to eligible low income earners at no more than 80% of market rates.

Venture Housing Company

Provides affordable rental housing for low to moderate income earners in the Territory who are unable to afford private rents and may not qualify for public housing.

For buyers

The NT Government is encouraging home ownership through initiatives, such as the:

Home Buyers Initiative

Provides opportunities for eligible NT residents to purchase their own land at affordable price points.

HomeBuild Access

Provides low deposit and low interest loans, targeted at new dwellings, eligible to NT residents.

Find out more about HomeBuild Access initiatives.

To keep houses safe, it is important that they are maintained and repaired as quickly as possible, when required.

The Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development is responsible for repairs and maintenance of remote public housing.

The department has engaged contractors to deliver tenancy management, and repairs and maintenance services, in remote communities. For minor repairs and maintenance items that do not need a qualified tradesman such as a plumber or  electrician, there are housing maintenance officers.

Housing inspections are conducted each year by tenancy contractors, repairs and maintenance contractors and the department.

Community housing officers and housing maintenance officers

Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development contractors employ community housing officers or housing maintenance officers who are based in one community and provide services to surrounding communities.

Where possible, people from the local community are employed in these roles.

Community housing officers are employed by tenancy management contractors and can conduct inspections of remote public houses, assist with tenancy management services - such as rent payments and adding or removing people from a tenancy agreement - and help tenants deal with maintenance issues.

Housing maintenance officers are employed by repairs and maintenance contractors and are the first point of call for repairs and maintenance issues.

They provide a handy-man service to fix items that do not require a qualified tradesperson.

Where repairs and maintenance issues require a qualified tradesperson, the department has panel contractors who deliver this work.

Reporting repairs and maintenance

You can report repairs and maintenance issues to your local housing maintenance officer or the local community housing officer. Alternatively you can contact the Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development.

If something breaks or stops working you should report it straight away.

Some things will be fixed more quickly than others. Things that are dangerous will be repaired as a priority such as:

  • blocked toilets, blocked drains, or sewage leaks
  • leaking water mains and pipes
  • exposed electrical wires
  • gas leaks.

You should also report things like:

  • dripping taps or taps that are tight to turn
  • stove elements that are not working
  • fans that are not working properly
  • power points that are not working.

The sooner you report the item to your housing officer, the sooner it can be fixed.

You can read about repairs and maintenance, on the Northern Territory Government website.

The Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development is conducting inspections of public housing properties built before 1983 for asbestos-containing material. These inspections will allow the department to update our asbestos information.

In 2004, the department worked to raise awareness about asbestos, involving television, newspaper and website advertising as well as a fact sheet for tenants.

In 2010, the department undertook more work to help tenants be asbestos aware. Both of these projects were run in conjunction with NT Work Safe.

Houses built before 1983 may have asbestos-containing material. Inspection and testing may be required to determine if there is asbestos.

Inspections will be conducted by independent licenced assessors on identified properties.

A licenced asbestos inspector will assess the condition of the asbestos and organise its safe removal if necessary. If asbestos-containing material is identified but is undamaged and in good condition it may not need to be removed. The department will repair or replace material that has to be removed at its expense.

For more information:

Public housing tenants who take pride in their house and yard are being rewarded for their efforts.

Formerly known as the “Public Housing Garden Competition”, the “Pride in your Place awards” are open to all public housing tenants in urban and remote areas of the Northern Territory.

Tenants are eligible to win a monthly prize of a $200 gift voucher and a certificate signed by the Minister for Housing and Community Development.

The monthly awards are designed to recognise and thank tenants who look after their garden and maintain their property.

Tenants can be nominated any time during the year by a staff member from the Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development.

So whether a tenant has an arid garden, their fruit trees are at their best in the wet, or their pot plants are in top shape in the dry – any public housing tenant is in with a chance to be one of our monthly winners.

To find out more, contact your local housing tenancy officer.

2020 winner:

February - Anita Palmer, Barunga

January - Walter Weeks, Johnson

2019 winner:

November - Susan Doolan & Kenneth Hayes, Finke

October - Barbara Bursa and Pranom Kulsuwan, Woodroffe

September - Joelene Paddy and Dean Oliver, Santa Teresa

August - Hilmo Jahic, Nhulunbuy

July - Cecily Nixon, Pirlangimpi

June - Lack Phoneyiem, Malak

May - Jenneke Matthes, Woodroffe

April - Robert Peckham, Tennant Creek

March - Nerissa Nadjalaburnburn, Gunbalanya

February - Christine Guyula, Galiwin'ku

January - Filomena Lemos, Bakewell

2018 winners:

November - Sylvia Neale, Alice Springs

October - Beryl Gleeson, Humpty Doo

September - Herta and Ellen Hakata, Fannie Bay

August - Eva Cantrell, Nhulunbuy

July - David Riley and Laney Tracker, Alpurrurulam

June - Melita and Virgiloio Marquez, Karama

May - Malcolm and Sacha Loy, Alice Springs

April - Rhoda Bobby, Pigeon Hole

March - Cassandra Campbell, Alice Springs

February - Myrtle McBean, Katherine

The Northern Territory Government, through the Town Camps Futures Unit, is investing over $25 million for urgent repairs to housing and infrastructure, creating generational change for people living in town camps.

$5.5 million grant funding has been allocated for housing and infrastructure work in Wilyugu and Gurungu, Elliott and the Marlinja community. This grant will be allocated as a single grant to complete housing and infrastructure works.

The successful applicant will be required to engage with residents to identify, scope and deliver housing and infrastructure projects.

Grant applications are now being invited from qualified organisations.

Interested participants must register their interest to download the Grant Information Package.

For queries, please email Applications.GrantsDHCD@nt.gov.au

The NTG recently announced the $30 million Home Improvement Scheme as part of its rescue and recovery plan in response to COVID-19.
To register your business for this scheme, or for further information, visit Home Improvement Scheme.

The Northern Territory Government announced a new $100 million public housing stimulus program in November 2018 which aims to further support local businesses and jobs in the construction industry.

Upgrades, repairs and maintenance work to public housing in Darwin, Palmerston, Nhulunbuy, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs is available now.

To make sure you don’t miss out, register your business for the $100 million public housing stimulus program. While you may have registered under previous Stimulus programs, this is a new initiative. It is important you register your business again under the $100 million public housing stimulus program.

Register your interest for the $100 million public housing stimulus program.

Further information is available in frequently asked questions.

Works Awarded Report

The Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development is delivering a $100 million public housing stimulus program for the construction and upgrade of public housing dwellings in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Darwin, Katherine and Nhulunbuy, which will run through until the end of June 2020.

To help keep you up to date on how the program is tracking and where each contract has gone, we have developed a Works Awarded Report. PDF (1021.6 KB)

A list of frequently asked questions DOCX (169.2 KB) is also available.

Industry briefings

A third round of industry briefings was held in Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs and Nhulunbuy in December 2019.

This provided an opportunity to hear directly about how the program is progressing, and to provide any feedback.

The progress presentation PPTX (442.0 KB) is available for those who were unable to attend a briefing session.

If you have any questions, please contact the department by calling 8999 1989 or by emailing HousingStimulus.DLGHCD@nt.gov.au.

The Northern Territory Government is improving Aboriginal housing in 73 remote communities by investing $1.1 billion from 2016-2017 – 2026-2027 through the Remote Housing Investment Package: Our Community. Our Future. Our Homes.

Drop-in day centre to help Territorians who sleep rough

The NT Government is supporting rough sleepers with the establishment of the Better Pathways Centre (BPC), a drop-in day centre that will provide support for vulnerable Territorians in the Darwin city area.

The BPC will offer amenities such as laundry, toilet and shower facilities as well as basic meal services. It will also support recreational activities, in-reach services from multiple organisations and case coordination and referral services.

Operating on weekdays during business hours, the BPC will be an alcohol restricted area.

Request for Proposals

The Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development invites proposals from eligible organisations to establish and operate the Darwin Better Pathways Centre for up to five years.

To ensure a culturally responsive service model is provided, it is intended the BPC would be operated by an Aboriginal Organisation with the appropriate expertise.

To be eligible for funding under this Request for Proposals, non-Aboriginal organisations may form a partnership with an Aboriginal controlled organisation.

Please refer to the Request for Proposals documentation for a definition of an Aboriginal controlled organisation.

To access the Request for Proposals Guidelines and Response Schedule, organisations will need to register through GrantsNT. Submissions close at 5pm on Wednesday 19 February 2020 and are to be submitted via GrantsNT.

An information briefing and site inspection will take place at 9am, Wednesday 15 January 2020, at 56 Woods Street Darwin. Register for the briefing at applications.grantsDLGHCD@nt.gov.au.

For enquiries about this Request for Proposals contact (08) 8999 8433 or email applications.grantsDLGHCD@nt.gov.au.

Where will the centre be located?

Pending Development Consent Authority approval, the BPC will be located at the old Darwin Primary School site, 56 Woods Street, Darwin.

The old Darwin Primary School site will be the location for the Better Pathways Centre.

Why is the NT Government setting up a Better Pathways Centre in Darwin?

The Northern Territory Government (NTG) recognises the need to provide essential services to support vulnerable rough sleepers, including families with children.

Who will manage the BPC?

A Request for Proposal process will select a provider to run the BPC. The provider will have extensive experience in working with homeless people, especially vulnerable Aboriginal people who are homeless in Darwin.

What are the opening hours for the BPC?

The BPC will be open during regular business hours from Monday to Friday.

When will it start operating?

The BPC is expected to open in early 2020, following the completion of internal works and approval from the Development Consent Authority.

Will clients be allowed to sleep in BPC overnight?

No, the BPC is a DAY Centre only. The NTG has secured dedicated overnight beds for homeless people through Aboriginal Hostels Ltd and alternative accommodation services can be sought through the BPC. No one will live or stay overnight at the BPC.

Will people be allowed to camp or drink in the BPC grounds overnight?

No, the grounds will form part of an alcohol restricted area and anyone found camping on the site will be assisted by Larrakia Night Patrol to alternative accommodation.

Will staff be there all the time during opening hours?

Yes, the BPC will have dedicated staff in roles such as reception, cleaning, and grounds maintenance. The staff will also be assisting clients and ensuring client, staff, visitor and neighbourhood safety.

In addition, visiting services will operate from the BPC, such as legal, primary health, housing and homelessness services and Centrelink.

Will the BPC be an alcohol restricted area?

Yes. This will be central to the service model. An alcohol restricted area will create a safe environment and promote better health.

How will the alcohol restricted area be enforced?

The BPC staff will promote and reinforce the BPC as an alcohol restricted area. The BPC will establish a code of conduct for attendees, or a social code of behaviour.

The BPC staff will work in partnership with NT Police, Larrakia Day Patrol and Darwin City Council rangers to support the alcohol restricted area when required.

What if intoxicated or drug affected people hang around outside the BPC?

The aim of the BPC is to create a safe space for everyone, including the local community. Loitering outside the BPC will not be tolerated. People will be asked to voluntarily move on, if they are loitering. If necessary NT Police, Larrakia Day Patrol and Darwin City Council rangers will be asked to assist and take people to the Sobering Up Shelter

Is any construction work required?

No major construction work is proposed. It is the intention to retain the original exterior features of the building and only minimally alter the interior to create a safe, functional and fit for purpose space.

For further information on the Better Pathways Centre, phone the Director, Strategic Partnerships: 8999 3913 or email: housing.strategy@nt.gov.au.

Better Pathways Centre fact sheet

A home for all Territorians – Northern Territory Housing Strategy 2020-2025 PDF (6.1 MB) was officially released in December 2019.

The vision of the strategy is a home for all Territorians - housing that enables social and economic wellbeing and strong communities.

The strategy sets out an overarching framework, guiding principles and actions that will promote increased access to social and affordable housing, private rental and home ownership across urban, regional and remote communities.

It builds on existing programs and will leverage new ideas and partnerships to create improved outcomes for individuals, families and communities.

The Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development will deliver the strategy over the next five years in close partnership with other NT Government agencies, communities, non-government sector and local business organisations.

The Northern Territory has the highest rate of homelessness in Australia, at almost 12 times the national average.

The NT Homelessness Strategy 2018-23 aims to strengthen the foundations of the service system to deliver improved housing and support outcomes for Territorians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

To deliver these outcomes, the strategy focuses on five priority actions to achieve service improvements across a range of key areas.

The NT Homelessness Strategy 2018-23 PDF (11.5 MB).

Last updated: 26 February 2020

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