Rural and remote areas and Aboriginal communities continue to suffer from housing and local environmental disadvantage. Overcrowding and lack of appropriate, safe and functioning utilities such as power and water are at the root of many preventable diseases including Rheumatic Heart Disease, chronic kidney disease, respiratory disease and poor ear and eye health.
Until housing and environmental standards are raised in rural and remote community’s significant positive health outcomes will not be acheived.
We call that federal, state and local government act urgently to prioritise appropriate housing, including development of affordable housing for low socioeconomic groups and funding for repairs and restoration to dwelling facilities. Waiting times for repairs should be a Key Priority Indicator for effective housing programs.
Data on government housing availability and facility function, overcrowding rates and episodes, waiting time and cost of repairs should be collected and reported regularly.