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Shepparton ‘Supporting Aboriginal Home Ownership’ Shared Responsibility Agreement (SRA)

Date: 24 April 2006
Sub Category:Shared Responsibility Agreement (SRA)
State/Country:Victoria, Australia
Shepparton is located approximately 200km North-East of Melbourne, adjoining the Goulburn river.
  • Proposed contribution - Department of Families, Community Sertvices and Indigenous Affairs ($260,000)
  • Proposed contribution - Department of Employment and Workplace Relations ($60,000)
  • Proposed contribution - Indigenous Business Australia (in-kind)
  • Proposed contribution - Centrelink (in-kind)
  • Proposed contribution - Youngs and Co Real Estate (in-kind)
  • Subject Matter: | Economic Development | Employment and Training
    Summary Information:
    The Shepparton 'Supporting Aboriginal Home Ownership' Shared Responsibility Agreement is an agreement between the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, Indigenous Business Australia, Centrelink, Youngs & Co Real Estate and the Indigenous Community of Greater Shepparton to support and encourage Indigenous tenants to save and buy their own homes.

    Shared Responsibility Agreements are agreements between governments and Indigenous communities to provide discretionary funding in return for community obligations. The new arrangements developed from an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments and replace the previous ATSIC system of funding. For more information see 'Shared Responsibility Agreement' below.
    Detailed Information:
    The SRA aims to address a number of identified barriers to indigenous home ownership including high levels of rental arrears associated with low family incomes and the absence of support for tenants and their families to manage household budgets.

    These needs are to be addressed by developing skills in budget management, providing support and advice to Indigenous tenants to help them resolve issues relating to Centrelink payments, providing advice about home ownership assistance and training in residential property management to indigenous housing staff.

    Shared Responsibilities
    Under the SRA, Rumbalara Cooperative Ltd, representing the Indigenous Community, will:
  • ensure rent is paid by tenants for its properties and is used to meet the maintenance requirements of the properties, including developing, with community input, an agreed housing asset management plan;
  • promote, monitor and support the financial counselling/planning to be provided to tenants and other community members, including developing strategies to promote financial planning to tenants;
  • provide rental accommodation at a reasonable rent;
  • host meetings to promote positive role models among the young indigenous community;
  • seek indigenous community views about how the Australian Government's community Housing and Infrastructure Program might be improved; and
  • work with Indigenous Business Australia to promote the home ownership program among community members, including encouraging community members to access the program.

    Families and individual tenants and other community members will:
  • meet their responsibilities and obligations to pay rent;
  • advise Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd as soon as possible of the need for any repairs and maintenance to their rental property;
  • contribute to the development of an agreed housing asset management plan;
  • select community members to participate in the Reference Group overseeing this assessment;
  • access the financial planning services available through the Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative Limited to address money management and debt reduction issues; and
  • commit to the strategies worked out with the financial counsellor to address debt reduction, meet their financial obligations, manage family budgets and/or save for the deposit on a house.

    The Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs has proposed a contribution of $260,000 over three years for the financial counsellor position. The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations has proposed a contribution of $60,000 for structured training and Employment Project over two years to support three traineeship positions.

    Indigenous Business Australia has proposed an in-kind contribution of information and advice about the home ownership Program and other programs helping people to buy their own home. Centrelink has proposed an in-kind contribution focusing information and advice about Centrelink debt management options, access to rent assistance and Centrepay. In addition, Youngs and Co Real Estate have proposed in-kind support in the form of mentoring, support advice and expertise sharing with the Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative housing staff.

    This funding is subject to the partners entering into a legally binding funding arrangement.

    Performance Indicators and Feedback Mechanisms
    The SRA provides for annual reporting by Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative Limited reporting on CHIP funding requirements, and the number of staff commencing or completing relevant qualifications, and the number of staff commencing and completing relevant training. The Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs will report annually on the number of tenants seeking home purchase assistance under the Home Ownership Incentive Program.

    It also provides for six monthly reporting by Indigenous Business Australia on the number of community members seeking home purchase assistance under the Home Ownership Program, the Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative on the number of debt reduction/savings plans in place and the number of tenants/community members accessing financial counseling services.

    In addition to this, community meeting will be organized when required to raise and resolve issues, and a reference group comprising representatives of each of the partners will convene regularly to review progress against agreed milestones, and to resolve any emerging issues.
  • Outcomes:
    In July 2008, The Age reported that implementation of the SRA had been successful and that the Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative had applied for an extension of the SRA to other areas (Chandler 2008). The report detailed how the SRA assisted a Yorta Yorta man, Les Briggs, to purchase his home. Mr Briggs had rented for more than a decade from the Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative. In recognition of his long tenancy, the Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative gave him a discount of 20% on the purchase price of the property. This created equity for Mr Briggs, which in turn enabled Mr Briggs and his son to jointly take out a mortgage to cover the remainder of the purchase price. Mr Briggs likened the home ownership process to a 'buy-back' of the land and said that he had used the 'Western way' of borrowing money to purchase property in order to have security for his family.

    Related Entries

  • Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (Cth) - Signatory
  • Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) (Cth) - Signatory
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Signatory
  • Indigenous Business Australia - Signatory
  • Centrelink - Signatory
  • Youngs & Co. Real Estate - Signatory
  • Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative
  • People
  • Shepparton Indigenous Community - Signatory

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