The Territory Labor Governments focus on jobs and housing is on display at the remote community of Areyonga where two families have had their homes extended and refurbished under the Room to Breathe program.
Job creation has been high on the agenda with 60 per cent of the building workforce made up of Areyonga locals.
Tenants have also actively participated in the works, helping to design their home improvements a key aspect of the plan that aims to increase living space and reduce overcrowding in remote area homes.
The homes now have extra bedrooms, verandahs have been enclosed and there are concrete pathways to the front gates and clotheslines.
There are also new dust-suppressing pathways around the exterior of the homes which have been painted internally and externally.
The bathroom in one of the homes has been remodelled.
Tangentyere Constructions has the contract to renovate 12 homes in Areyonga and will be working in the community through to next year.
Out of the 20-strong team, 12 locals worked on the first houses, gaining skills in all aspects of building works. Another two Areyonga residents have now joined the crew.
Tenants move into transitional housing during construction so projects will be completed two at a time. These two homes are the first to be completed and work has already begun on the next phase.
Room to Breathe is part of the Territory Labor Governments $1.1 billion remote housing program which focuses on local decision making, engagement and planning as well as local jobs creation and economic development.
So far, the Room to Breathe program has completed work on 120 homes in 22 communities.
As stated by the Minister for Housing and Community Development, Gerry McCarthy:
Room to Breathe works at Areyonga are part of the Territory Labor Governments record $1.1 billion investment in improving homes and creating jobs for remote Territorians.
This program is designed to create jobs, training and skills development opportunities for locals while community consultation and local decision making allows tenants to be involved in planning works on their homes.
Creating room to breathe means the homes will be safer and healthier and many of our most vulnerable Territorians will have a better chance of succeeding in education and employment.
As stated by Tangentyere Constructions Assistant Manager, Brad Parsons:
We have now increased the number of Areyonga locals working with us and they will remain with our company as long as were working in the community.
The workers have gained new skills in all aspects of the building trade including painting, concreting and groundworks and are involved in projects from start to finish.
Wherever we work we engage with the community and it is great to see locals taking ownership of projects, which benefit themselves, their families and the wider community.