Unblocking the path to home ownership in Mapoon - World Vision's new plan
World Vision’s new home ownership project in Far North Queensland’s Mapoon community will help people overcome the barriers to buying their own homes.
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Over the next 3 years World Vision will work with the Mapoon Council and Trustees to set up the Mapoon Home Ownership Scheme to help residents who are eligible and want to own their own homes deal with the complex legal, regulatory and financial processes involved in buying a home.
“Indigenous people in remote areas face huge barriers to buying homes, which are far more complex than we experience on freehold land in urban areas,” says World Vision’s CEO Tim Costello.
Rev Costello says making housing affordable is critical.
“There is a strong link between housing and wellbeing. Home ownership is linked to education and getting and keeping a steady job. It underpins participation in the Australian economy.”
“There’s a lot of talk about ways to end Indigenous disadvantage and here we have a community that is determined to make their lives better. We have seen the world over that the best results happen when communities take action themselves.”
One of the biggest barriers for residents in Mapoon, on Cape York Peninsula, is affordability, and the Queensland Government is valuing houses at twice what people can afford.
Using Queensland’s current valuation method a three bedroom home and land in Mapoon would be priced at $326,000 and a four bedroom home and land at $355,000
Detailed case studies of five prospective home owners in Mapoon we suggest that the median sale prices need to be closer to $150,000. Based on their modest household incomes and the high cost of living in remote areas, this is what people can afford and all that a lender will loan them.
“We must support and encourage people who want to become home owners and Mapoon community have asked us to give them a hand. An important task will be finding a way to change the current way homes and land are being valued in the Mapoon community, which prohibits ownership.”
While there is goodwill from the Queensland Government, which has tried to make home ownership possible, there remain too many obstacles.
World Vision’s CEO Tim Costello is available for interview
Tara Crowe 0427 883 700