Home Ownership for Indigenous People living on Mark Moran

Document Sample
Home Ownership for Indigenous People living on Mark Moran Powered By Docstoc
					HOME OWNERSHIP FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
LIVING ON COMMUNITY TITLE LAND IN
QUEENSLAND



PRELIMINARY
COMMUNITY SURVEY

May, 2001




Prepared by:
Moran, M., Memmott, P., Stacy, R., Long, S., and Holt, J.

ABORIGINAL ENVIRONMENTS
RESEARCH CENTRE
University of Queensland: School of
Geography, Planning & Architecture




On engagement to:

QUEENSLAND ABORIGINAL
CO-ORDINATING COUNCIL


With funding from:

QUEENSLAND DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
For some years, the Aboriginal Coordinating Council has been passing resolutions to make home ownership a
practical reality on DOGIT Land in Queensland. The process of developing a viable home ownership scheme
has now been proceeding, on and off, for the past two years. This report documents the latest development, a
preliminary community survey, completed with funding from the Queensland Department of Housing.

If home ownership on community title land becomes an option, it will profoundly alter the economic and social
fabric of community settlements in Queensland, and perhaps Australia. Despite the many calls for home
ownership, from remote outstation groups to peak representative bodies like the ACC, there are as many calls for
caution. Past attempts at home ownership through the “Katter” leases in places such as Kowanyama proved to
be ill conceived and poorly implemented. The complexity surrounding the issues are undeniable and must be
approached with care and rigour. Community aspirations for home ownership are a strong expression of
economic self determination which deserves support, but people must not be set up to fail.

The preliminary survey was conducted on a household basis in four communities in Queensland: Palm Island,
Cherbourg, Kowanyama and Lockhart River. The survey instrument was designed by the Queensland
Department of Housing and was facilitated by researchers from the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre.
The survey tested people’s understanding of home ownership, gauged their level of commitment, and explored a
range of issues associated with tenure, title and affordability.

Although there were aspirations for home ownership across all four communities, interest was strongest in Palm
Island and Cherbourg. This interest can be summarised through a number of key quotes.

              People own nothing here, it’s a community thing but Council owns all of it.

              I always wanted to own my own home. You can leave something to your children. We can say then
              that we own something, that its ours. What we have now is still not really ours. This is our home
              here so if its possible that we can get ownership of the house that would be great.

              I think home ownership is a great idea in communities, at least it should be an option.

              This has been a long time coming. We can't own anything as it stands now. We have no say about
              what happens. Home ownership would increase pride and self worth. People will start caring for
              their homes more than they do now. We don't want outsiders coming in to the community. I would
              like the rights of every Australian to [be able to] borrow and buy.

              We have 6 children and it would be a way of helping them. I think it's very important for
              Aboriginal people to own their own homes. We are currently disadvantaged because we can't get a
              loan. Children will have more pride if they own their own home.

              Home ownership would stop dependence on government and stop people taking things for granted.
              Not everyone here thinks the same thing. It's time to do something for ourselves and be
              responsible.


The survey revealed rich and diverse understandings of home ownerships. Most of the households interviewed
had some appreciation of the advantages and pitfalls of home ownership on community title land. Some
examples of concerns raised include:-
              People will find it hard to look after houses with kids breaking and entering all the time. Now
              Council does the repairs and maintenance.

              Insurance, rates and other added financial obligations may make it difficult to keep up.

              My concern is that the community could lose its sense of identity. People may pick inappropriate
              places to build. Could cause divisions within the community.

              If paying off a house, what happens if you lose the house and have to keep paying for it, for
              example what happens if a cyclone destroys it?

              If you are paying, what happens if you cannot repay? If you buy in the township they might take it
              off you and give it to council. But what if it is on your traditional land?



                                                                                                                   1
Also, some communities have understandings of home ownership which go beyond the mainstream notion of
purchasing a house on a serviced block in town.
               The council already has an informal ownership scheme. A house is built then allotted to a family.
               Families feel a sense of ownership over that house. It is a family house. If the person/family
               occupying that house were to go away for a while, say to Normanton, then other family members
               would move in and look after that place. For example a niece might look after her uncles place.
               The council would have a hard time moving people out.

               We want to fund housing back to the outstations rather than in here. Home ownership should be
               tied to outstations. The DOGIT area is approximately 1000000 acres but the township blocks are
               400 square meters. Everyone is jammed up.

               House have to go to the traditional owners. People should stick to their own boundaries and put
               homes on their own country. People should put homes outside of where the community is now.

               People have been working as slaves on the community for years and have been paying rent since
               1976. It’s time they should get compensated for this by being given their houses.


In consideration of the complexity and diversity inherent to home ownership on community title land, the
following conclusions and recommendations have been made throughout the report.

Conclusions:
    1.   Despite the absence of formal mechanisms for home ownership, some households have developed
         strong attachments to particular houses and undertaken their own improvements to the house and
         garden. A high proportion of households interviewed preferred to purchase their current home
         (although most indicated their preference to purchase a new home). A number of people indicated their
         concern that if they leave the community, they run the risk of their house being reallocated to another
         family. The existence of informal claims of home ownership of existing houses was evident across all
         four communities, but to varying degrees.
    2.   Expectations of home ownership varied from household to household and from community to
         community, and were not limited to the conventional notion of purchasing a home on a serviced
         allotment in town.. In Palm Island, people had a good understanding of the advantages and
         disadvantages of home ownership, yet still made an informed choice to purchase a home. The same
         applied in Cherbourg, but home ownership was also often tied to demands for compensation. In
         Kowanyama, responses indicated more culturally appropriate definitions of home ownership might be
         met through the existing community housing levy system. In Lockhart River, aspiration for home
         ownership were strongly linked to outstation development.
    3.   Given the different expectations and constraints of different households and communities, the design of
         a home ownership scheme should be flexible enough to accommodate a range of situations. This will
         largely only be possible through the devolution of authority to each Community Council to permit them
         to regulate the scheme locally.
    4.   Once legal issues have been fully determined, a number of tenure options should be taken back to the
         community for further consideration. Most people interviewed were clearly uncomfortable with the
         notion of separating ownership of the house from the land. The question of separation of title should
         only be revisited if concerns about control and security are fully addressed.
    5.   One of the strongest aspirations for home ownership is the ability to pass a home down to future
         generations. However, contrary to popular perceptions, it is not the only aspiration and other themes
         surrounding control, pride and economic benefits are also common.
    6.   Sections of each community surveyed, especially Cherbourg and Palm Island, had realistic
         understandings of the advantages and disadvantages of home ownership. This is not to suggest that
         education and other support will not be required, but rather that these households were in a position to
         make an informed choice.
Recommendations:
    1.   If the community at Kowanyama wishes to further explore the option of home ownership, it is
         recommended that additional household consultation be undertaken with a different survey instrument
         which explores more culturally appropriate dimensions of home ownership.
    2.   There is a strong community priority at Lockhart River for outstation development. Given the strong
         links between outstation location and traditional associations to land, home ownership is inextricably


                                                                                                                    2
         linked to outstation development. It is therefore not considered appropriate to consider the outstation
         movement at Lockhart River under the banner of home ownership alone, but rather, home ownership
         would be better considered as one part of the outstation movement there.
    3.   A home ownership scheme should be developed and trailed in Palm Island and Cherbourg on a small
         scale. As the project is implemented and lessons learnt, the project should be expanded to include other
         households in these communities and then to other communities.
    4.   The design of a home ownership scheme should take account of the reasons for the failure of the
         ‘Katter Leases” in Kowanyama, including:-.
         • It was a government imitative pushed by the Community Manager rather than the community itself.
             (The Council had only recently been established and was still finding its feet.)
         • The houses sold were already old and close to the end of their life cycle.
         • People did not understand that maintenance was their responsibility. There was no education
             program or other support provided to home owners.
         • Land dealings for deceased estates and/or transfer of the lease back to Council were not resolved
             from the onset.
    5.   The design process of a home ownership scheme should also address a number of key concerns raised
         in the course of the survey:-
         • Insurance against events beyond ones control; e.g cyclones, vandalism.
         • In order to prevent non-Indigenous or wealthy Indigenous families from becoming landlords, it will
              be necessary for the housing market to be closed to within the community.
         • Protection of native title rights.
         • People’s ability to keep up with repayments and maintenance.
         • Dealings with default.
         • Location of home owner units will be determined by the availability of serviced blocks and people
              may not be able to get their preferred location.
         • Existing houses must be brought up to an acceptable standard before going up for sale.
         • Dealing with deceased estates.
         • Decision making processes, especially land matters, must be devolved to the local level.
         • Payment of rates and other charges to Council.
    6.   The design of a home ownership scheme should explore ways to protect the resale value of properties.
         This might involve a valuation formulae and the Council acting in an intermediary capacity for all sales
         with a ‘buy-back’ option.
    7.   Results from the household survey should be complemented with an analysis of census data to better
         understand household income characteristics and distribution across the four communities.
    8.   If home ownership is going to be an option for more than a privileged few, a way must be found to
         improve the affordability of home ownership programs to a broader community level. The design of a
         home ownership scheme should explore ways to subsidise home ownership, so as to improve
         accessibility to the general community population.
    9.   A series of community workshops should be held after models and further details of a viable home
         ownership scheme(s) have been finalised. This should include two separate sets of workshops. One set
         of workshops should be held with Council and Council officers to explore the role of the Council in
         administering and resourcing a home ownership scheme. A separate set of workshops should be held
         with prospective home owners to further develop details of a home ownership scheme.


It is important to stress that the survey was preliminary only. The Full Council of the ACC has reviewed this
report and endorsed the conclusions and recommendations. However, the ACC has also resolved that further
consultation should be undertaken after the details of a viable home ownership scheme(s) have been finalised by
the Queensland Department of Housing.

The survey has probably raised as many questions as it has answered. The issues surrounding home ownership
on community title land are inherently complex. To approach this complexity will require in depth consultation
and innovative solutions. It is certainly clear that it will not be possible to simply translate mainstream home
ownership models into DOGIT communities. Although the household survey found a general awareness of the
limitations and pitfalls of home ownership, a significant number of households continue to have a genuine and
committed aspiration to own their own home. The path to achieve this may not be easy, but considering the
problems of the current system of community rental housing, and the lack of an economic base in remote
communities, the potential for positive change is significant.


                                                                                                                   3
BACKGROUND
The Process to Date
The process of exploring the feasibility of home ownership on community title lands has been running for about
two years and is proceeding slowly through the complexity involved. Significant dates so far include:-

 April 1999             Preliminary issues paper circulated by Mark Moran, which is endorsed by the ACC
                        Housing portfolio committee and the ACC Full Council.
 1 June 1999            ACC convenes a ‘whole of government’ meeting in Cairns to advance the issue.
 10 August 1999         ACC engages Mark Moran to complete a Scoping Study, with funding from ATSIC.
 18 November 1999       Presentation of Scoping Study to ACC Full Council Meeting in Cairns. Scoping Study
                        endorsed by the ACC Housing portfolio committee and the ACC Full Council.
 29 March 2000          ACC convenes a ‘key stakeholder’ meeting in Cairns.
 21 December 2000       ACC engages the Aboriginal Environment Research Centre, University of Queensland,
                        to undertake this Preliminary Community Survey (at a project inception meeting)
 February 2001          Household and community surveys undertaken in Palm Island, Cherbourg, Kowanyama
                        & Lockhart River
 3 April 2001           Presentation of Preliminary Community Survey to Full ACC Meeting.


ACC Initiative
For some years the full Council of the ACC has been passing resolutions to ensure that home ownership is a
practical reality on DOGIT Land. In response to this and with a small grant from ATSIC, the ACC engaged
Mark Moran in 1999 to undertake a Scoping Study.

A copy of the Scoping Study can be downloaded from www.iig.com.au/mfmoran. The Scoping Study described
the complexity associated with home ownership on community title lands and recommended the following six
step process.
    1.   Define a legal tenure instrument which gives home owners on community title land security over their
         investment without adversely effecting Indigenous land rights.
    2.   Determine what is affordable and financially attractive to a reasonable number of potential home
         purchasers.
    3.   Ensure institutional support for the scheme across the whole of Government.
    4.   Assess the level of commitment and the capacity within DOGIT Councils and IHOs to administer and
         manage a home ownership program(s).
    5.   Assess the level of commitment amongst potential home purchasers after all limitations have been
         properly explained.
    6.   Undertake preliminary program design, cost estimates, timetable and risk assessment for
         implementation of a home ownership product for community title land in Queensland.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Initiative
In parallel to the ACC initiative, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing began to develop of a home loan
product for DOGIT land. This was initiated “in-house” largely through the Home Purchase Assistance (HPA)
area of the Queensland Department of Housing. At the stakeholder meeting in Cairns in March 2000,
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing explained that HPA require a round of community consultation
before they can design an appropriate model. The HPA have a design framework which can then be adopted to
select the most appropriate model.

Given the obvious overlap between the ACC and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Initiatives, it
was agreed that the ACC and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing could collaborate to undertake a
round of preliminary consultation. It was agreed that the following issues would need to be resolved.

                                                                                                                4
    •    What exactly do people understand by home ownership.
    •    Are people seeking security of tenure or title?
    •    If people simply wish to be able to pass their houses onto their kids, then this is / can be possible
         through the existing rental program. In the Torres Strait, it is clear that rental houses belong to certain
         families.
    •    People may have unrealistic expectations of home ownership and may not be fully informed about all of
         the added responsibilities and costs. It is important to test their commitment once these limitations are
         properly explained.

It was also agreed at the stakeholder meeting that the project should be limited in scope to mainland Aboriginal
communities at this stage. It was considered that extension of the project to the Torres Strait would require a
different process and should possibly be a separate project in its own right. In reaching a decision of which
communities should be included, it was decided that it would be important to include Kowanyama due to their
past experience of home ownership. Other communities that were considered to be suitable were Palm Island,
Cherbourg and Lockhart River. These four communities were subsequently approved by the Executive of the
ACC. The communities were then formally approached and all agreed to take part in the survey.

In December 2000, agreement was reached on the scope and terms of this preliminary consultation. Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander Housing formulated its own work plan, also with six steps, although quite different
from the six steps proposed in the ACC Scoping Study.
    1.   Inter-Departmental working group meeting
    2.   Survey of four Aboriginal Communities (i.e. this report)
    3.   Document the options under the current land legislation, included changes that may be necessary
    4.   Develop home ownership options, including existing mainstream options, alternative subsidised
         options, specific tailor made options (rent/buy shared equity, interest free, and depreciated least to
         purchase), and alternative options that reduce costs (self built, joint venture)
    5.   Draft discussion paper for agency stakeholders
    6.   Presented for government consideration


Preliminary Field Survey
In a letter seeking funds from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Program to undertake the field
survey, the ACC defined the following purposes of the preliminary consultation:
             •    To better appreciate people’s understanding of home ownership.
             •    To gauge the level of commitment to home ownership at a household level.
             •    To test this level of commitment through discussion around some of the limitations of home
                  ownership on community title land.
             •    To satisfy any requirements for information that may be required by Home Purchase
                  Assistance within your Department.

The ACC also stressed that the proposed consultation would be preliminary only:
              ……To improve the outcomes from the consultation, it will be necessary to raise awareness and
              stimulate thought prior to the proposed community visits. To the greatest extent possible, this will
              be undertaken through community mailings, newsletters and billboards. However, the
              effectiveness of these methods is limited in comparison to visits in person. In many respects, the
              preliminary consultation will in itself raise awareness for further in-depth consultation proposed
              during the forthcoming Feasibility and Design Stage. In this respect it is important to stress that
              the proposed consultation will be preliminary only.
The ACC was otherwise concerned about undertaking consultation and raising expectations whilst it is still not
clear whether a viable home loan product will be found. It is also aware of its obligations to member
communities to give feedback to communities of the results arising from community consultation.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing subsequently awarded the ACC a small grant to undertake the
field survey. The ACC in turn engaged the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre of the University of
Queensland (AERC) to undertake the consultation. There were no terms of reference for the consultancy.
Rather, the ACC and AERC were bound to complete a survey instrument which is given in Appendix I. There
are three stated aims in the survey documents.




                                                                                                                     5
    1.   To familiarize with interested householder’s understanding of home ownership principles and values,
         and their expectations of what a scheme would be like.
    2.   Identify any culturally-specific or community-specific factors that could shape or limit the nature of any
         proposed community-based home ownership scheme.
    3.   Increase the ACC understanding of what impacts a home ownership scheme would have on households
         and councils, so as to contribute to a Feasibility Study.

The ACC (Ramon Davis) made arrangements for the community visits. The survey was conducted by two
researchers from Aboriginal Environments Research Centre (Rachael Stacy for Palm Island and Cherbourg, and
Stephen Long for Kowanyama and Lockhart River) and a Departmental Officer from Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Housing (John Holt for all four communities). Less Sheppard shouldered the burden of most of
the data entry. Mark Moran analysed the data and drafted this report. The project was coordinated and overseen
by the Director of the AERC, Dr Paul Memmott.

The field survey focused on household interviews because the household will be the basic consumption unit of
any home ownership scheme. Interviews were also undertaken with both elected representatives and employees
of Council and other representative organisations, given the important role that Council will need to play in the
administration and regulation of a home ownership scheme. Additional questions were asked at Kowanyama in
keeping with their past experience of home ownership.

Council housing officers were asked to prepare lists of households to be interviewed. The interviewers generally
found that as word got around about who and why they were there, more and more people approached them.
Several group interviews were held in Lockhart River, because a number of households indicated that they
would feel more comfortable responding to the survey together as a group. Meetings were also held with
Council and other peak representative bodies.


Limitations of Field Survey
Overall, the interviewers found that the communities were not as prepared for their visit as they might have been
if more resources were available with a longer lead time. Despite the efforts by the ACC to make advance
contact through correspondence and phone calls, it is clear now, in hindsight, that a more prolonged awareness
process would have improved the yield of data. The need for this is exacerbated by the new and complicated
nature of the topic: the interviewers were probably the first people from outside of the community to raise the
issue of home ownership in a formal manner.

The survey instrument was initially designed collaboratively by Department of Housing (Home Purchase
Assistance, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing) and the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre.
Many different people had input into its design. Whilst this may be contributed to a comprehensive set of
questions and much useful data was generated, the instrument proved to have a number of failings in the field.
This is not uncommon in surveys of this nature where the data collected must service a wide range of needs.

At a meeting in Brisbane, the interviewers noted a number of limitations with the survey instrument which are
noted in the following Section “Household Survey: Question by Question”. Although these limitations should
be noted, the interviewers managed to adapt, explain, apologize and improvise in the course of the interviews to
compensate. They are outlined with a view to improving the questionnaire if it is ever repeated.

In future, it is recommended that the following strategies be utilized and that allowance be made for such in the
survey budget:
     • Sufficient lead time could have been allowed to permit an educational process to occur in the
          community prior to the actual survey. Public notices could have been placed around the community
          forewarning of the survey and its purpose. Information workshops could have preceded the survey.
     • A community housing officer could have visited households to determine who would like to be
          interviewed and to arrange suitable times for interviews.
     • The survey instrument could have been validated at a community level to test and then modify it prior
          to the survey.




                                                                                                                    6
Limitations of Data Analysis
A total of 75 interviews were conducted; 25 in Palm Island; 20 in Cherbourg; 13 in Kowanyama and 17 in
Lockhart River. An abundance of useful data has been collected, including many interesting quotes. However,
as with most surveys of this nature, a number of limitations must be explained.

This number of people interviewed does in no way correlate with the number of households in each community
who are interested in home ownership. To determine this it would have been necessary to take a representative
sample of the total number of households in each community. This would have required in the order of 50 to
150 interviews in each of the four communities (depending on the number of households in each community)
which was well beyond the budget for the project.

Interviews were rather conducted with (a) those people interested in home ownership and (b) those people who
wanted to be interviewed. In effect, the interviews conducted are a sample of just one section of the community:
i.e. those interested in home ownership. Since it has not been possible to estimate the actual number of
households in each community who are interested in home ownership, it is also not possible to accurately
estimate the degree of confidence possible from the sample taken. Nonetheless, the sample is considered to be
adequately representative given the preliminary and indicate nature of the survey.

The analysis in the following section includes a number of tables where percentage figures have been calculated
to one decimal place. This is mathematical derivative only and bears no relation to the degree of accuracy
possible from the survey. In keeping with these statistical limitations, the analysis has focused on significant
trends, rather than small differences.

A significant number of the households interviewed in Lockhart River, and a few in Kowanyama, associated
home ownership with development of their outstation. This was considered to be a legitimate interpretation of
home ownership and responses from these people were included in the data analysis.

A few people indicated that their aspirations for home ownership were not limited to the community. One
household in Lockhart River was definite in their intention to buy a house in Cairns and to thereby leave the
community. Other households in Palm Island and Cherbourg had already, or had previously, owned housing on
nearby freehold land in non-Indigenous towns. This too was considered to be a legitimate interpretation of home
ownership and responses from these people were included in the data analysis.

The data sets collected for Palm Island and Cherbourg are detailed and comprehensive, with a low percentage of
missing data (7% and 5% respectively). The proportion of missing data from Kowanyama was less satisfactory
(19%) and even more disappointing at Lockhart River (33%). These increasing percentages reflect the
decreasing relevance of the survey instrument in Kowanyama and Lockhart River, which is discussed further in
the conclusion to this report.

Other limitations in accuracy can be attributed to short fallings of the survey instrument. These are examined,
question by question, in the following section.

Despite these limitations on accuracy, a wealth of data was collected and it has been possible to draw important
conclusions with confidence.




                                                                                                                   7
HOUSEHOLD SURVEY ANALYSIS, QUESTION BY QUESTION
Question 1: Interest in Buying a Home
       Is your household interested in buying a home? [yes/ no.]

The interviewers were instructed to not complete an interview unless the interviewee stated an interest in buying
a home. Nonetheless, several people were interviewed in Kowanyama and Lockhart River who were unsure,
ambivalent or unable to be definite in their answer. These surveys provided useful information and have been
included. Overall, 92% out of the total of 75 households interviewed indicated that that they were definitely
interested in buying a home.

It is important to stress that expressing an interest does not suggest that people are definitely committed to
purchase a house without reservations. People were not asked to make a decision whether they would buy a
home.


Question 2: Name of Interviewee
Not available for reporting to protect confidentiality.


Question 3: Gender and Age of Interviewee
       (a)    Gender of interviewee? [M/F]
       (b)    Approximate age?

Surveys were conducted with a higher percentage of women (60%) than men (37%). This distribution was
relatively consistent between the four communities.

The median age of people interviewed was 42 years; the youngest was 21 and oldest 87.


Question 4: Household Head
       (a)    Are you the head of the household?
       (b)    Are you able to speak on behalf of the household?

This question proved to be disadvantageous. It implies that only existing households would be interested in
buying a home. In a number of cases, young couples and single adults living under the patronage of a larger
household may also have an interest in buying a home. The response from these “secondary households” were
also included in the survey.


Question 5: Household Characteristics
       (a)    How many people are there in this household and what is there gender and approximate age (including
              children but excluding visitors)?
       (b)    What are the different sources of the household’s income for the adult members? (e.g. employment, wages,
              CDEP, welfare, benefits, craft sales.)

The average household size is 5 to 6 people.

Almost 90% of the households interviewed indicated that at least one person in the household earned a wage of
some description. Given the stated sample bias towards those interested in home ownership, it is to be expected
that the households interviewed would have a regular household income.


Question 6: Number of Houses in Household
       How many houses does the household currently have to live in? (e.g. community house and
       outstation house.)




                                                                                                                         8
None of the households interviewed indicated that they have more than one house within the community
township. However, about 25% of the households indicated that they had a family outstation, although not all
of these had housing. The greatest proportion of these households were Lockhart River, and to a lesser extent
Kowanyama.


Question 7a: Good Things About Renting
         (a)   What are the good things about renting your current home?

Responses to these open ended questions (as well as others throughout the survey) were analysed according to
standard qualitative coding techniques. Many responses to this questions were long and covered a number of
different areas. Accordingly, response were often assigned more than one code, up to a maximum of three. No
weightings were applied. This analysis is therefore biased somewhat towards those respondents who gave long
and multi-faceted answers. This is bias is consistent with the bias of selecting those households interested in
home ownership which is considered to be acceptable.

The following categories were used to sort the responses to this question. Indicative quotes are given to
demonstrate each category. The following table then sets out the distribution of response against each category.
Then a list of conclusions and notes are drawn from the analysis. This format is applied consistently throughout
the report.
    1.     Blank, no response, unsure
    2.     Nothing good
               Nothing except it's a roof over your head

    3.     No responsibility for maintenance
               Because you can get maintenance done for free, the cost goes to the council.

               Don’t worry about maintenance (paying for it or doing it yourself). Leave when you want.

               Wear and tear fixed by council. General R and M done by council. Additional things like
               driveways are done by council.

    4.     Cheap rent
               Cheap rent, repairs and maintenance done for nothing. We don't know the cost of things related to
               owning a house.

               Cheap rent. If ahead in rent you can get repairs done straight away.

    5.     Attachment to family home or new house, security
               This ground I live on is where I grew up as a child. Have lived for 20 years in the current home on
               the same site. We built all the cupboards and other things when we moved in to this current house.

               It is a good place, it is quiet, it has a good breeze and not many drunken people come around here.

               Safe tenancy. Council does repairs and maintenance. Having house means not caught up in
               allocations politics. Not a good thing to be caught up in.
    6.     Control over design, location and/or improvements
               Good to have a roof over your head. Living in one of the newer homes. Independence of having
               own home. I did the design of my home to make it comfortable [Council policy for new homes].




                                                                                                                     9
What are the good things about renting your current            Palm Is.      C’bourg      K’yama        L’hart       Overall
home?                                                                                                   River
1. Blank, no response, unsure                                        9.7%       3.1%         66.7%        66.7%        25.2%
2. Nothing good                                                      19.4%      0.0%          0.0%         0.0%         6.3%
3. No responsibility for maintenance                                 9.7%       40.6%         8.3%        11.1%        20.0%
4. Cheap rent                                                        12.9%      28.1%         0.0%          5.6%       15.8%
5. Attachment to family home or new house, security                  35.5%      21.9%        25.0%        16.7%        25.3%
6. Control over design, location and/or improvements                 12.9%      6.3%          0.0%          0.0%        7.4%
No of interviews included in analysis                                   25         19             8              7        59
No of coded responses assigned and analysed                             31         32            12           18          95

Conclusions / Notes:
   • The nature of responses to Category 5 applied more to perceptions of the interviewee’s particular home,
        rather than in a general sense of comparing renting with owning. There was a correlation between the
        response under Category 5 response and those indicating a preference to purchase their current home
        (see Question 13).
   • The response to Category 5 aside, most people selected either “cheap rent” or “no responsibility for
        maintenance as good things about renting”.
   • Percentage figures for Kowanyama and Lockhart River should be viewed with caution due to the small
        number of responses recorded.


Question 7b: Bad Things About Renting
         (b)    What are the bad things?

The following categories were used to sort the responses to this question. Indicative quotes are given to
demonstrate each category.
    1.     Blank, no response, unsure
    2.     Nothing bad
                Can't think of any. Council are pretty good. We have been in our current house for 17 years and
                the house before that for 23 years. We are on the waiting list for a new house.

    3.     Dead money
                Money doesn't go 'down the drain'

                All the rent paid over the years could have bought the house.

                Rent is dead money. Pay your rent and don't own anything in the end. When you leave you walk
                away from hard work (garden and yard)

    4.     Problems with Council R&M and current house condition
                Maintenance slow when you rely on council to come and do repairs. Do a lot of repairs myself.

                House eaten out by mice, noisy, house is too small for growing up my 11 children, no fence and
                people use my house as a thoroughfare. House was new when I moved in but I had to provide all
                the cupboards and fans and paint it myself. Haven't had repairs done for 11 years.

                House is termite infested, has been condemned by 2 councils, louvers fall in with the wind, walls
                crumble, house not windproof, can get outside by leaning on the walls.

                Everything is broken, house is very old, too small

                Can't get anything done on your house when you want it. Council takes too long to do repairs and
                maintenance but still expect you to pay rent.




                                                                                                                          10
                 You can't get any maintenance done, it takes ages, it is a slow process. If you pay for repairs
                 yourself, you will never get that money back. When I moved in, it took me 8 months to clean up the
                 house and yard at my own cost.

    5.   Problems with house design, location, or construction
                 The area is a swampy area. Water lays around the yard. Sewage comes up through the pipes.
                 The house is unfinished, gaps in windows, holes in the wall, water leaks in when it rains. Ceiling
                 sometimes leaks, comes down through the fan

                 The house is small. It is not old but is badly constructed. Yard is not level and should have been
                 leveled before building. Land wash away occurs after rain. There's no fence and horses wander
                 into my yard. Can't grow much in the yard due to wash away.

                 Bad orientation on block of land, yard is too small and not level. We don't take pride in it.

                 A bad thing is the kitchen, I would prefer something decent. The kitchen is just stainless steel,
                 there are no cupboards, just one sink. No kitchen cupboards for pots and pans. Only one big
                 bedroom. The other bedrooms are smaller sizes. I would prefer all of the bedrooms to be big
                 bedrooms, I also want a dining room. We need access for a wheelchair. We also need a bigger
                 bathroom.

    6.   Lack of control over house, lack of security, no ownership, can't leave community and come back
                 Paying dead money, lack of maintenance by Council, lack of control over the house, have to get
                 permission for everything, don't have freedom.

                 Maintains the welfare mentality. Does not provide as many opportunities as homeownership

                 If you want to make structural changes or additions need approval first. There is a long waiting
                 list for repairs, maintenance and/or additions. If you plant something permanent in garden you
                 have to go through council. Fair enough, but it takes years for applications to go through. Put in
                 an application for an extension six years ago but only approved this year

                 If you want to go away and work you have to give your house up. Haven’t got a place to come
                 back to.

                 Can get evicted. Not as secure as can be. Work you put into garden, house may go to someone
                 else.

                 Waste of money. paying money but not getting anything from it. Anything happens to me house
                 could go to someone else and not children. This is not the usual occurrence and council usually
                 allow children to take over but the possibility is still there.

                 People are worried about their current houses. If you go away for some time, council will take
                 away your house. So if you go away you must let council know if you are going in writing and you
                 must let them know for how long.




What are the bad things about renting your current               Palm Is.     C’bourg        K’yama        L’hart        Overall
home?                                                                                                      River
1. Blank, no response, unsure                                        0.0%          8.7%         46.2%            29.4%     16.5%
2. Nothing bad                                                       3.2%         13.0%          0.0%            17.6%      8.2%
3. Dead money                                                       25.8%         21.7%          0.0%            0.0%      15.3%
4. Problems with Council R&M and current house                      38.7%         21.7%         15.4%            11.8%     24.7%
   condition
5. Problems with house design, location, or construction            19.4%          8.7%         30.8%            29.4%     20.0%
6. Lack of control over house, lack of security, no                 12.9%         26.1%          7.7%            11.8%     15.3%
   ownership, can't leave community and come back
No of interviews included in analysis                                   25            18             8              12        62
No of coded responses assigned and analysed                             31            23            13              17        85


                                                                                                                              11
Conclusions / Notes:
   • Close to half of the respondents indicated a problem with their current house, either due to a lack of
        R&M or poor design and construction.
   • A significant number of people selected “dead money”.
   • Interestingly, a small but significant number of respondents were unhappy about losing there house if
        they leave the community for an extended period. Whilst there are no formal mechanisms for home
        ownership, some people develop strong attachments to particular houses and undertake their own
        improvements to the house and garden. However, if they leave the community, they run the risk of the
        house being reallocated to another family.


Question 8a: Good Things About Owning
         (a)   What are the good things that you think might come with owning, rather than renting, a house?

The following categories were used to sort the responses to this question. Indicative quotes are given to
demonstrate each category. The following table then sets out the distribution of response against each category.
    1.     Blank, no response, unsure:
    2.     Nothing good:
    3.     Improved responsibility, people will look after their house:
                Ownership of the house means you will be more likely to look after the house. If you have to pay
                for your own repairs, less likely to smash things up.

                If more people own their own home they might take charge of their life and better care and
                responsibility for their homes. Owning gives you security. If people owned their own homes the
                Police might take more interest in protecting them.

    4.     Collateral, savings, not dead money, economic advantages to community:
                Flow on effect to business and dynamics will change for the better….. Able to pass assets (homes)
                on legally. Provides collateral and assets.

                Appreciation that you really own something. Collateral if you own land as well. You can mortgage
                property and a decent home gives you economic leverage.
    5.     Pride, appreciation, esteem:
                It brings pride, communal pride, you can do the repairs and maintenance yourself, it makes you
                more wary, you have better appreciation for your own land and house.

                It would be treasure. You could do anything. This would be a beautiful thing to have. I have paid
                rent for 30 years and I am still renting. Other people own their own home after this time.

                I always wanted to own my own home. You can leave something to your children. We can say then
                that we own something, that its ours. What we have now is still not really ours. This is our home
                here so if its possible that we can get ownership of the house that would be great.
    6.     Security, pass onto children, retire to, can leave community and not loose house:
                Feeling of stability, can pass the house on to your kids and know your kids will have their own
                place after you die. All my life I have stayed with other people and it's like walking on egg shells -
                you have to go by their rules etc. This way you can do what you want. Can leave the island and
                rent the house while your gone. Know its there when you get back. There for the children. It is
                important to be able to rent the house out to others.

                Save something through owning a house. Can pass it on to children. If husband gets transferred
                they will still have a place to come back to. Could rent it out and decide who to put in there. Have
                something to show for your money.
    7.     Control, choose design, make improvements, rent it out:
                Can do anything with the house, build a BBQ, pergola or whatever you like, can paint the house
                whatever colour you like.

                If you bought your own home, you can plan/design it yourself. I would get a good verandah, I
                would have wide corridors. Then we would understand we should look after it. There are problems


                                                                                                                         12
                with the existing house, it was a swamp there before. Water from the bathroom goes into the
                bedroom. There is a crack in the wall. You want to build the house according to custom, for
                example avoidance- your father in law.

                Get a different house design from the ones around here, maybe a better one. I could make a good
                yard, make a garden or anything like that. You could look after it real good.
     8.    Develop an outstation:
                We are traditional owners, once we buy the house, it belongs to us. I want to build outside the
                community, away from drunkards and noises. This is my country here, but I would build a little
                away from the community. It is good to buy a home, you don't have to pay rent and electricity. It
                might be alright to buy your own home. you are responsible, no-one can tell you what to do. You
                have a fence around it, it is yours.


What are the good things that you think might come              Palm Is.      C’bourg       K’yama       L’hart      Overall
with owning, rather than renting, a house?                                                                River
1. Blank, no response, unsure                                       2.2%          2.8%        15.4%       26.1%        8.1%
2. Nothing good                                                     0.0%          0.0%            0.0%     0.0%        0.0%
3. Improved responsibility, people will look after their            8.7%         13.9%            0.0%     0.0%        8.9%
   house
4. Collateral, savings, not dead money, economic                   15.2%        11.1%             0.0%     4.3%        9.8%
   advantages to community
5. Pride, appreciation, esteem                                     13.0%         16.7%            7.7%    13.0%       13.8%
6. Security, pass onto children, retire to, can leave              30.4%         36.1%        15.4%       13.0%       26.8%
   community and not loose house
7. Control, choose design, make improvements, rent it              30.4%         19.4%        61.5%       26.1%       29.3%
   out
8. Develop an outstation                                            0.0%          0.0%            0.0%    17.4%        3.3%
No of interviews included in analysis                                  25            20             11        11         67
No of coded responses assigned and analysed                            47            36             13        23        123

Conclusions / Notes:
   • Although the need for security and to keep the house within the family was strongly indicated, other
        issues around notions of pride and control also are significant.
   • A significant proportion of responses relate to the economic advantage of home ownership
   • A number of informants predicted that home ownership will be an incentive for people to take batter
        care and pride in their houses.

Question 8b: Bad Things About Owning
          (b)   What might be the bad things?

The following categories were used to sort the responses to this question. Indicative quotes are given to
demonstrate each category. The following table then sets out the distribution of response against each category.
     1.    Blank, no response, unsure
     2.    Nothing bad
                None. I would make it work, make it come good, put in that extra little effort.

     3.    Land issues, native title issues, may not to get to choose preferred location
                Issue of Native Title, rates and land tax. Could create problems with traditional/ cultural issues
                such as burials on properties. If people can buy houses as they wish, may create problems for
                those that have cultural issues. This should be taken into account when deciding on properties for
                sale.

                Restrictions may apply to where you could buy because councils will allocate which properties
                can be bought which will be limited by infrastructure. Might want peace and quiet and want to
                choose your environment for yourself and children. Your environment affects your child's


                                                                                                                         13
          development and if located near lots of drinking or other undesirable behavior may not allow for
          full development and pride and sense of responsibility.

          If can't choose location and site, land ownership might be a bit of an issue.

          Land tenure will be a major issue. Need to seriously look at how we deal with land tenure.
          Perhaps restrict to built up areas (already DOGIT land).

          Land might be an issue. Want some sort of certainty about what’s going to happen to the land
          before buying.

4.   Responsibility for maintenance, insurance, rates, natural disasters
          Maintenance cost and who would do maintenance. If had access to hardware may be able to do it.
          Can do repairs to a certain extent but would be difficult to do all maintenance.

          Responsibility for drainage problems caused by natural disasters.

          Responsibility. Might be difficult if you go away. Have to get insurance.

          People will find it hard to look after houses with kids breaking and entering all the time. Now
          Council does the repairs and maintenance.

          Paying for maintenance and repairs and finding sometime to do it. Probably lots of water damage
          due to climate.

5.   Keeping up with costs and repayments, security of income
          Insurance, rates and other added financial obligations may make it difficult to keep up.

          You have to get the money yourself to buy the house, have to have the security of income, have to
          pay for repairs and maintenance yourself.

          Currently people do not have the income to make it possible. Income makes it difficult. If own a
          house on an outstation, it could be a tourism enterprise - tourists pay to stay.

          Haven’t had much time to think about it. But employment circumstances might make it difficult to
          meet the mortgage repayments.

6.   Old houses may require extensive rehabilitation
          I won't buy a house if I can't own the land too and Council should have the house in top condition
          before I will buy it.

7.   Community issues, divisions between have & have not’s, loss of community identity, conflicts with
     traditional values
          Concern that community could lose sense of identity. People may pick inappropriate places to
          build. Should be part of the long term community plan. Could cause divisions within the
          community.

          Responsibility could be both negative and positive. A new experience, legal and moral obligations
          for community. Need time to adjust. Always lived in the ‘glass bubble’. Have to adjust to new
          responsibilities.

8.   Can't relocate house or move, stuck in one place
          Need to have good neighbours cause your stuck there.

          Might be stuck with it.

9.   Changed relationship with Council
          Concern if council by-laws aren't enforced. Could be to the detriment of homeowners (relating
          curfews etc to damage to property).

          May be issues with Council doing extensions etc



                                                                                                               14
What are the bad things that you think might come              Palm Is.      C’bourg       K’yama        L’hart     Overall
with owning, rather than renting, a house?                                                               River
1. Blank, no response, unsure                                       3.4%         7.4%         53.8%        50.1%      22.1%
2. Nothing bad                                                     24.1%         7.4%          0.0%        18.8%      14.0%
3. Land issues, native title issues, may not to get to             24.1%        18.5%          0.0%         0.0%      15.1%
   choose preferred location
4. Responsibility for maintenance, insurance, rates,               20.7%        40.7%         15.4%         0.0%      20.9%
   natural disasters
5. Keeping up with costs and repayments, security of               10.3%        14.8%         23.1%        18.8%      15.1%
   income
6. Old houses may require extensive rehabilitation                  6.9%         0.0%          0.0%         6.3%       3.5%
7. Community issues, divisions between have & have                  6.9%         3.7%          0.0%         0.0%       3.5%
   not’s, loss of community identity, conflicts with
   traditional values
8. Can't relocate house, stuck in one place                         0.0%         7.4%          0.0%         6.3%       3.5%
9. Changed relationship with Council                                3.4%         0.0%          7.7%         0.0%       2.3%
No of interviews included in analysis                                  25           20             6           10          61
No of coded responses assigned and analysed                           29            27            13           16          86

Conclusions / Notes:
   • The combination of the three categories of land issues, added responsibility and additional costs
        accounted for the majority of response.
   • The diversity and sophistication of the response to this question suggests that people have a good
        understanding of the implications of home ownership. This was especially evident in Palm Island and
        Cherbourg.
   • A significant number of people at Palm Island indicated that there was “nothing bad”.
   • Percentage figures for Kowanyama and Lockhart River should be viewed with caution due to the small
        number of responses recorded


Question 9: Importance of Passing onto Future Generations
       (a)      How important is it for you to have a house to pass onto future generations? (Very important, Reasonably
                important, Not important)
       (b)      If important, why?

Unlike the open-ended questions which were coded during analysis, this question was coded during the
interview by asking the interviewee to choose one of three given options.



How important is it for you to have a house to pass            Palm Is.      C’bourg       K’yama        L’hart     Overall
onto future generations?                                                                                 River
Blank, no response, unsure                                          0.0%         0.0%         23.1%        35.3%      12.0%
Not Important                                                       0.0%         0.0%          7.7%         0.0%       1.3%
Reasonably Important                                                8.0%        15.0%          7.7%        11.8%      10.7%
Very Important                                                     92.0%        85.0%         61.5%        52.9%      76.0%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • There was a very strong response to this question. No other questions in the survey were answered
        affirmatively to the same extent.
   • Some indicative quotes follow, which were distributed across all four communities:
                 To give something to kids and for them to know it will be theirs. Give them something to look at
                 (giving them an example to follow because parents owned a house)




                                                                                                                           15
               Pass on to your children/ land and house. No one can take control of it. Should be a family
               decision about what happens to house. Should not be decision of one individual family member.

               Children have something to call their own if something happens to parents. Leaves them with an
               asset they can use.

               So our kids can have a better life than we had. Want to help kids to get it together.

               My children like to stay together and I don't want them to have to split up and stay with other
               people.

               I always think about leaving Palm Island and if we had that security of a place or my kids could
               keep staying here I wouldn't stay away long but I like the security of having a place here.

               It can provide some security for children as we never know what the Council or Government are
               going to do here and things will get harder here.

               At present the old people here have no security. If anything happened to me or my husband then
               our children would have a home. It is very hard for young people to get a home here because of
               the housing shortages. Palm Island people would be proud to own their own home because we
               have never had that before.

               We have 6 children and it would be a way of helping them. I think it's very important for
               Aboriginal people to own their own homes. We are currently disadvantaged because we can't get a
               loan. Children will have more pride if they own their own home.

               For children something available to them. Role model for community. Increase community pride
               as a whole by instilling a sense of looking after and caring for place.

               We have 8 children and I would rather them have something. It would be ours to give them. We
               never owned anything and we struggled and this would save them from having to go through the
               same things.

               Security for future generations. Helps to break the welfare mentality cycle.

               Important in the sense of even children need to prove that they are responsible enough to deal with
               maintenance and payments. Should have the option to rent to others if children prove to not be
               responsible.

               So they can stay within the community. So that they know they belong, a sense of belonging.


Question 10: Rental History
       (a)    Would you mind telling us what your current rental payments are, or give us a rough idea (a range) of what
              your payments are?
       (b)    Are you usually up to date? [yes/no]

The interviewees encountered some complex responses to these questions. The notion of ‘rental history’ has to
be considered in the context of a number of factors including; intermittent local employment opportunities;
impact of funerals; disputes between residents and Councils about paying rent when it was perceived
maintenance by Council was slow, inadequate or non-existent; and, a lack of continuity in Council policy.


Current Rental Payments?                                       Palm Is.     C’bourg        K’yama       L’hart       Overall
                                                                                                        River
Blank, no response, unsure                                         0.0%          5.0%                     17.6%         5.3%
Average                                                              $45           $63                       $34           $45
Median                                                               $40           $70           $30         $30           $40
Minimum                                                              $20           $38                       $15           $15
Maximum                                                              $84           $75                       $50           $84

Conclusions / Notes:
   • All residents in Kowanyama pay of $30 levy in lieu of household rent


                                                                                                                           16
Are you usually up to date?                                   Palm Is.     C’bourg       K’yama        L’hart        Overall
                                                                                                       River
Blank, no response, unsure                                        4.0%          0.0%          Levy        47.1%        29.3%
No                                                               28.0%          5.0%          Levy            5.9%     12.0%
Yes                                                              68.0%         95.0%          Levy        47.1%        58.7%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • The clear majority of people indicated yes, they are usually up to date with their rental payments.
   • The term “usually” in this question was open to interpretation. A few respondents indicated yes, they
        were up do date, even though they had otherwise indicated that they are currently paying instalments to
        catch up on rental arrears.
   • Given the survey bias towards households with waged employment (see Question 5), this result is not
        surprising. A broader household survey may have revealed different results.


Question 11: Affordability
       How much do you think you could afford for weekly repayments if you were buying your house?
       (current rental payments; twice the current rental payments; three times the current rental payment)



How much do you think you could afford for weekly             Palm Is.     C’bourg       K’yama        L’hart        Overall
repayments if you were buying your house?                                                              River
Blank, no response, unsure                                        4.0%          0.0%        30.8%         47.1%        17.3%
Current rental payments                                          20.0%         25.0%         0.0%         11.8%        16.0%
Twice the current rental payments                                56.0%         60.0%        30.8%         29.4%        46.7%
Three times the current rental payment                           20.0%         15.0%        38.5%         11.8%        20.0%
Median                                                              $80         $117           $60             $45       $80

Conclusions / Notes:
   • The last row was calculated through simple multiplication between Questions 10(a ) and 11(a)
   • It is possible that the amounts quoted include both repayments and costs associated with repairs and
        maintenance.


Question 12: Sharing the Burden of Repayments
       (a)    Do other members of the household currently contribute to the weekly rental payments? [yes/no]
       (b)    If so, how many? [record a number]
       (c)    Do you think that they would contribute to the cost of weekly repayments if you were purchasing a home?
              [yes/no/some]



Do other members of the household currently                   Palm Is.     C’bourg       K’yama        L’hart        Overall
contribute to the weekly rental payments?                                                              River
Blank, no response, unsure                                        0.0%          0.0%                      41.2%        26.7%
No                                                               36.0%         65.0%            n/a       17.6%        33.3%
Yes                                                              64.0%         35.0%          levy        41.2%        40.0%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • With the exception of Cherbourg, most households pay rent on a collaborative basis. This is especially
        so in Lockhart River.




                                                                                                                          17
If so, how many?                                              Palm Is.    C’bourg       K’yama        L’hart     Overall
                                                                                                      River
1                                                               60.0%         62.5%            n/a       28.6%     51.6%
2                                                               20.0%         25.0%          levy        28.6%     22.6%
3                                                                 6.7%         0.0%                      42.9%     16.1%
4                                                               13.3%         12.5%                       0.0%      9.7%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • For those households that pay rent on a collaborative basis, usually only one or two people help the
        household head with paying the rent.
   • Many responses indicated that other people help out in other ways, such as payments for food,
        electricity and other household expenses.



Do you think that they would contribute to the cost of        Palm Is.    C’bourg       K’yama        L’hart     Overall
weekly repayments if you were purchasing a home?                                                      River
Blank, no response, unsure                                        8.0%        15.0%        30.8%         29.4%     18.7%
No                                                              12.0%         20.0%         7.7%         29.4%     17.3%
Yes                                                             76.0%         65.0%        61.5%         35.3%     61.3%
Some                                                              4.0%         0.0%         0.0%          5.9%      2.7%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • Most households indicated that they would also be able to pay housing repayments on a collaborative
        basis.



Question 13: Preference to Purchase New or Existing Homes
       Which would you prefer to do:
       (a)   Would you prefer to purchase the house that you are currently living in? [yes/no]
       (b)   Would you prefer to purchase a new home? [yes/no]
       (c)   Would you prefer to purchase an existing home, that is different to one that you are currently
             living in? [yes/no]
       Why?


Which would you prefer to do?                                 Palm Is.    C’bourg       K’yama        L’hart     Overall
                                                                                                      River
Purchase the house you are currently in?                        34.6%         63.6%        30.0%         25.0%     40.5%
Purchase a new house?                                           61.5%         22.7%        60.0%         75.0%     52.7%
Purchase an existing home that is different to the one that       3.8%        13.6%        10.0%          0.0%      6.8%
you are currently living in?

Conclusions / Notes:
   • The preference in Cherbourg to purchase the current house reflects higher standard of housing there and
        participation in the design of houses. Results for other three communities indicate a clear preference for
        purchasing a new home.
   • Most people who indicated a preference to purchase their current home either stated that it was a
        new/recently renovated home or that it would need to be fixed up first. Others gave reasons of
        sentimental attachment to their current home or to its location. A few people indicated a preference for
        their current house to be demolished and new home constructed on the current site.
   • Most of the people who indicated a preference to “purchase a new house” indicated problems with the
        design, condition or location of their current house.
   • Some of the few people who selected a “different existing house” referred to a particular house which
        they had an attachment to in the past, e.g. where they had grown up.


                                                                                                                      18
Question 14: Relationship between Standard and Price
       [If the interviewee answers Q.18 with preference (b), ask the following]: The higher the price of your house, the more
       you will have to pay each week. So your weekly repayments will be higher if you purchase a new home, rather than
       an old existing home. Have you thought about this? [yes/no]

This question should not have been limited to those that responded to Question 13b (preference for a new house)
only. This relationship would apply equally to second hand houses also. As framed, the Question appears to be
leading the interview to discount one option.


The higher the price of your house, the more you will        Palm Is.      C’bourg       K’yama        L’hart       Overall
have to pay each week. So your weekly repayments                                                       River
will be higher if you purchase a new home, rather than
an old existing home. Have you thought about this?
Blank, no response, unsure                                        6.3%         0.0%          0.0%        66.7%         23.1%
No                                                                6.3%        20.0%         33.3%        25.0%         17.9%
Yes                                                              87.5%        80.0%         66.7%         8.3%         59.0%
Number of respondents who selected 18b (new house)                   16            5             6           12            39
Number of responses                                                  15            5             6              4          30

Conclusions / Notes:
   • Of the small number to of people to which this question applied, most were aware of this basic
        economic relationship to home ownership.
   • The figures for Cherbourg, Kowanyama and Lockhart River should be viewed with caution due to the
        small number of responses recorded


Question 15: Urgency
       When would you like to buy your own home?
       (a)   as soon as possible
       (b)   in the next year or two
       (c)   not for some years.


When would you like to buy your own home?                    Palm Is.      C’bourg       K’yama        L’hart       Overall
                                                                                                       River
Blank, no response, unsure                                        4.0%         5.0%         23.1%        23.5%         12.0%
As soon as possible (ASAP)                                       56.0%        60.0%         15.4%        23.5%         42.7%
Next year or two                                                 32.0%        25.0%         46.2%        52.9%         37.3%
Not for some years                                                8.0%        10.0%         15.4%         0.0%          8.0%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • The vast majority of people indicated either ASAP or “in the next year or two”.
   • One of the interviewers in Kowanyama and Lockhart River noted that “as soon as possible” can
        actually mean “in the next year of so” which may reflects people’s experience of “how soon it is
        possible” for government programs to be implemented.


Questions 16a and 16b: Implications of Community Title Land
       (a)    Once you own your house you could sell it. But you may not be able to sell your home to anyone outside of
              the community. Have you thought about this? [yes/no]
       (b)    What would you think if you could not sell to anyone outside the community?

Questions of this nature which attempted to be testing and educational (ie. provide people with information and
then test them on their information) proved to be awkward for both the interviewer and the interviewee. In some
cases the questions were perceived to be paternalistic and condescending. Irrespective of this, the interviewer
was generally able to adapt, explain and improvise to compensate.




                                                                                                                          19
Once you own your house you could sell it. But you               Palm Is.      C’bourg        K’yama         L’hart      Overall
may not be able to sell your home to anyone outside of                                                       River
the community. Have you thought about this?
Blank, no response, unsure                                           0.0%           0.0%         23.1%         41.2%       13.3%
No                                                                  32.0%         45.0%          30.8%         29.4%       34.7%
Yes                                                                 68.0%         55.0%          46.2%         29.4%       52.0%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • Most people were aware of the basic reality of community title land.
   • The “testing/educational” nature of this question would tend to encourage affirmative responses.
   • The figures for Lockhart River should be viewed with caution due to the small number of responses
        recorded.

This was followed with an open ended question which sought more detailed responses from the previous
question. Given the “testing/educational” nature of the preceding question, all people who were now aware of
the possible need to restrict of sales to within the community. Question 16b gives some indication of how
acceptable such a restriction would be. Most people who responded were in agreement or acceptance. Some
indicative quotes are given below.
               Shouldn't be able to sell outside of community. Council should purchase deceased estates through
               some type of trustee arrangement.

               I wouldn't want to sell to anyone on the mainland or to LJ Hooker or Ray White. Council should
               be in a position to step in and take it back off me if I want to sell or leave.

               I would probably rent the house rather than sell it if I wanted to leave. This wouldn't worry me.

               Agree with this as I don't want this place being overrun by outsiders.

               Wouldn’t be too concerned if couldn’t sell outside, more concerned with being able to pass it down
               to family.

               It would be a problem if we put the house up for sale then some other fella from Cairns might buy
               it as people here might not have the money. That bloke might do things like go into competition
               with council. He might set up a pub selling spirits and therefore create problems

               If we pay it off, then I could sell it. I wouldn't sell outstation house, it is our traditional land we
               can't sell it to anyone, we can only hand it down. But here in the community I don't know how I
               would go about it. Like if I bought a house here and I move out, my family will not come here to
               stay so it is best for me to sell it to the council or rent it out….
Nonetheless, a few people from Palm Island and Cherbourg had reservations.
               If restriction applied would follow. But strong preference is that there should not be any
               restrictions. Would be looking for title that would allow you to sell to the highest bidder.

               This would be problematic. There may not be anyone who could afford to buy it when I want to
               sell. This needs a lot of careful thought.

               Want the option to be able to sell to family members who are from outside the community.



Questions 16c and 16d: Implications of a Closed Housing Market
       (c)    If you sell your house, you may not get the price that you originally paid for it. Have you thought about this?
              [yes/no]
       (d)    What would you think if this happened? (Do you know of anyone this has happened to or have you heard of it
              happening to anyone?)




                                                                                                                              20
If you sell your house, you may not get the price that             Palm Is.   C’bourg     K’yama         L’hart      Overall
you originally paid for it. Have you thought about                                                       River
this?
Blank, no response, unsure                                             4.0%      5.0%         23.1%          70.6%     22.7%
No                                                                   32.0%      50.0%         61.5%          17.6%     38.7%
Yes                                                                  64.0%      45.0%         15.4%          11.8%     38.7%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • An equal number of people were aware of this overall. There was a much greater awareness at Palm
        Island and Cherbourg than at Kowanyama and Lockhart River.
   • The “testing/educational” nature of this question would tend to encourage affirmative responses.
   • The figures for Lockhart River should be viewed with caution due to the small number of responses
        recorded


This was again followed with an open ended question: “What would you think if this happened”. It would be
expected that the hard reality of limited house values in a closed housing market would be difficult for many
people to accept. The nature of the responses given in the following question suggest that few people had “faced
up to” to this hard reality of a closed housing market. Nonetheless, most people were either accepting or not
concerned because they would never sell. Some indicative quotes are given below.
               I have never owned before and I don't know about these things. It could be a problem but the
               chances of wanting to sell would be slim.

               Wouldn't sell if that was the case.

               Don't think it would stop me selling as long as there was not too much difference in price.

               The house will not be sold, it is for the family.

               It's still not dead money like paying rent is.


It is not however surprising that a significant number of people expressed their dissatisfaction.
               Be looking to sell the house for at least equivalent value.

               If I didn't get the same price or higher after I'd done extensions etc I would be disappointed.

               I think its wrong.



Question 17: Responsibility for Maintenance
       When you buy a home you would normally become responsible for repairs, maintenance, insurance and maybe even
       rates. Have you thought about this? [yes/no]


When you buy a home you would normally become                      Palm Is.   C’bourg     K’yama         L’hart      Overall
responsible for repairs, maintenance, insurance and                                                      River
maybe even rates. Have you thought about this?
Blank, no response, unsure                                             0.0%      0.0%         15.4%          47.1%     13.3%
No                                                                     4.0%     10.0%         23.1%          5.9%       9.3%
Yes                                                                  96.0%      90.0%         61.5%          47.1%     77.3%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • The vast majority of people were aware of this additional responsibility associated with home
        ownership.
   • The “testing/educational” nature of this question would tend to encourage affirmative responses.
   • The figures for Lockhart River should be viewed with caution due to the small number of responses
        recorded

                                                                                                                          21
Question 18 and 19: Repairs and Maintenance
       If you were responsible for repairs and maintenance:
       (a)    Would you do the repairs yourself? [yes/no]
       (b)    Do you think you have the tools to do the repairs yourself? [yes/no]

       (a)    Would you get someone else to do the repairs? [yes/no]
       (b)    If so, who would you go to?


Would you do the repairs yourself?                           Palm Is.      C’bourg    K’yama       L’hart       Overall
                                                                                                   River
Blank, no response, unsure                                        0.0%         0.0%       7.7%        35.3%         9.3%
No                                                              36.0%         25.0%      30.8%        23.5%        29.3%
Yes                                                             44.0%         70.0%      30.8%        11.8%        41.3%
Some                                                            20.0%          5.0%      30.8%        29.4%        20.0%

[If you intend to do at least some of the repairs            Palm Is.      C’bourg    K’yama       L’hart       Overall
yourself] Do you think you have the tools to do the                                                River
repairs yourself?
No                                                                6.3%        13.3%       0.0%         7.7%         7.5%
Yes                                                             56.3%         66.7%      22.2%         0.0%        39.6%
Some                                                            18.8%         13.3%      33.3%        38.5%        24.5%

Would you get someone else to do the repairs?                Palm Is.      C’bourg    K’yama       L’hart       Overall
                                                                                                   River
Blank, no response, unsure                                        0.0%         0.0%      23.1%        35.3%        12.0%
No                                                                4.0%         5.0%       7.7%         5.9%         5.3%
Yes                                                             84.0%         95.0%      46.2%        47.1%        72.0%
Some                                                            12.0%          0.0%      23.1%        11.8%        10.7%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • Not surprisingly, most people indicated that they would either do the repair themselves or get someone
        to help them, depending on the nature of the repair or maintenance job required.
   • About one third of people indicated that they would not do any repairs themselves whatsoever and
        would rather get someone else to do repairs for them.

This series of questions were too simplistic to give an accurate account of how repairs and maintenance would
be undertaken. To do so, it would have been necessary to have a breakdown of different types of maintenance
jobs, tools and trades.

Question 20: Council’s Ongoing Role
       (a)    Would you expect Council to have an ongoing role to assist you after you have begun to purchase your house?
              [yes/no]
       (b)    If so, how?


Would you expect Council to have an ongoing role to          Palm Is.      C’bourg    K’yama       L’hart       Overall
assist you after you have begun to purchase your                                                   River
house?
Blank, no response, unsure                                        8.0%         5.0%      23.1%        35.3%        16.0%
No                                                              36.0%         30.0%       7.7%         0.0%        21.3%
Yes                                                             56.0%         65.0%      69.2%        64.7%        62.7%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • The clear majority of people expected Council to have an ongoing role. This trend was more prevalent
        in Kowanyama and Lockhart River.


                                                                                                                      22
An open ended question then explored what role Council should have. Similar to Questions 7 and 8, responses
were coded according to five different categories. Indicate quotes to illustrate each category are given below.

    1.   Blank, no response, unsure
    2.   No role
    3.   Repairs and maintenance
               In regards to repairs and maintenance they should continue to provide services but I would also
               shop around and compare prices of getting work done.

               Provide workforce to repair houses but I would expect to pay for this. Could also help with issues
               and advice on issues other than repairs and maintenance.

               If buying from Council you would need a guarantee from them that they be responsible for the
               repairs and maintenance for the next 5 years especially if you were buying an old home. Before I
               purchased I would want a proper building inspection from someone outside the community.

    4.   Administration, repayments, advice, arbitrator in disputes, insurance, property manager when owner is
         away
               If council were competitive you might consider using their services for repairs. Could be a
               payment agency. Could be guarantor if you have a good work history and could help with meeting
               financial eligibility requirements.

               A negotiator role in cases of damage to house caused by others in the community who should be
               made to pay restitution.

               If they did continue with current services I would use them knowing I would have to pay for the
               service. Could also possible help with advice or problems with insurance or similar issues. Could
               run awareness workshops.

               To answer questions people have about home ownership, on everything possible that can happen.

    5.   Municipal services, technical assistance, housing design, damage from natural disasters
               For handling the big things like problems with storm damage, sewage etc.

               Look after adjoining council properties. Ensure that trees don't affect power, sewage and run-off.
               Garbage collection.


If so how?                                                   Palm Is.      C’bourg      K’yama         L’hart       Overall
                                                                                                       River
1. Blank, no response, unsure                                     6.3%        12.5%         30.8%        33.3%        17.0%
2. No role                                                      25.0%         20.8%          7.7%         5.6%        17.0%
3. Repairs and maintenance                                       21.9%        37.5%         53.8%        38.9%        34.1%
4. Administration, repayments, advice, arbitrator in sales      28.1%         16.7%          7.7%        11.1%        18.2%
   and disputes, insurance, property manager when owner
   is away
5. Municipal services, technical assistance, housing            18.8%         12.5%          0.0%        11.1%        13.6%
   design, damage from natural disasters
No of interviews included in analysis                               23            17             9           11          60
No of coded responses assigned and analysed                         32            24            13           18          88

Conclusions / Notes:
   • About one third of responses indicated that Council should have an ongoing role with repairs and
        maintenance. This is not surprising given the lack of private tradesperson operating in remote
        communities. Most people indicated that they would expect to pay Council for maintenance and other
        services, even though the question did not specifically illicit this.



                                                                                                                         23
      •     The distribution of results between communities suggests that Palm Island and Cherbourg expect
            Council to play a less but more diverse role. For Kowanyama and Lockhart River expectations were
            focused on Council assisting with repairs and maintenance

Question 21a: Separation of Ownership between House and Land
          (a)   Would you be happy to enter into an agreement whereby you own your house, but not necessarily the land
                underneath? [yes/no]

There proved to be a poor sequence between these two questions. The second question was often interpreted to
contradict the first which led to some embarrassment and frustration by the interviewee and interviewee.


Would you be happy to enter into an agreement                   Palm Is.      C’bourg       K’yama         L’hart      Overall
whereby you own your house, but not necessarily the                                                        River
land underneath?
Blank, no response, unsure                                         16.0%          5.0%         15.4%        76.5%        26.7%
No                                                                 56.0%         85.0%         61.5%        23.5%        57.3%
Yes                                                                28.0%         10.0%         23.1%          0.0%       16.0%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • The clear majority of respondents indicated that they would not be happy to enter into any such
        agreement.
   • The figures for Lockhart River should be viewed with caution due to the small number of responses
        recorded
   • Some indication comments are given below:-
                No way!

                Title is crucial for economic leverage.

                You have got to have land with the house. If you buy a house and someone else owns the land they
                will have a right to come in the house.

                This is a big sticking point. You wouldn't own the house if you don't own the land. It would have to
                be the house and land together.

                Wouldn't worry me as long as it was council that owned the land. Don't want it to be taken away
                from the community.

                I would only agree to this if I had the security of the land as long as I own the house.

                The house [referring to outstation] would be on country, on my own land. I don't need to buy land,
                it is my land. The council has to pay us for sand here as we own the land.

                This is not an issue as we already have the claim to the land where our outstation is.


Question 21b: Acceptability of Council owning the Land
          (b)   Would it be acceptable to you if Council continued to own the land? [yes/no]

This is a leading question with a tendency to be answered affirmatively. This question does not measure
people’s “preference” or explore other options for tenure arrangements. The previous question has determined
that the vast majority of people would prefer to own both the house and the land, and this question should not be
interpreted as contradicting or undermining this response.


Would it be acceptable to you if Council continued to           Palm Is.      C’bourg       K’yama         L’hart      Overall
own the land?                                                                                              River
Blank, no response, unsure                                         16.0%          5.0%         23.1%        64.7%        25.3%
No                                                                 48.0%         65.0%         23.1%        29.4%        44.0%
Yes                                                                36.0%         30.0%         53.8%          5.9%       30.7%



                                                                                                                            24
Conclusions / Notes:
   • Most people are not happy for Council to continue to own the land.
   • The exception to this is Kowanyama, which strongly indicated positively. This may be related to the
        current process of Council taking over the privately held “Katter Leases”.
   • The figures for Lockhart River should be viewed with caution due to the small number of responses
        recorded
   • Some indicative quotes are given below:-
               This would give me no freedom at all. What protection have I got? Council can say they are
               putting a street in [through your land] and what can you do?

               Would only agree to this if he can have his say and control about how this could happen. Would
               require some security in relation to the land.

               Would only agree to this if there was surety of tenure such as a 99 year lease.

               If council owned the land could we still put up a fence, a big fence to keep everyone out? I would
               want to know what kind of control council would have. Here we think of the council house as ours,
               they would have to have a good reason to kick you out. But councils change so you cannot rely on
               the council giving you secure tenancy on a levy house.

               If that were the case a personality clash with council could affect my situation.

               Once you buy the house you own the land too. Would only buy as a package.

               Council may be able to reallocate and where would that leave you?

               It would worry me if council owned the land because they might do things to improve the land. We
               should own the house and the land.

               If I buy a house but don't own the land, if I put a fence around and build the garden up, the council
               might come along and dig a big trench, I would say 'What is happening' and they would say "It is
               not your land'.

               There might be a problem, they can easily move you out of there from the land. On your own land,
               no-one can push you off.



Question 22a: Time Necessary to Purchase a House
       (a)    How many years do you think is needed for buying a home? [record a number] Why?
              [If the interviewee does not know, or is clearly mistaken, interviewer to suggest 20 years]

In many cases, people gave a range of years rather than a single value. When this occurred, the average of the
range was entered for analysis. The “testing/educational” nature of this question and then prompting with the
right answer (20 years) proved to be very awkward for both the interviewer and interviewees.


How many years do you think is needed for buying a            Palm Is.      C’bourg       K’yama          L’hart       Overall
home?                                                                                                     River
Blank, no response, unsure                                        28.0%         25.0%        61.5%          82.4%        45.3%
Average                                                             12.5          16.5             10.4      10.3          13.5
Median                                                              11.0          15.0              5.0      11.0          12.5
Minimum                                                              4.5           5.0              3.0       5.0           3.0
Maximum                                                             22.0          30.0             25.0      15.0          30.0

Conclusions / Notes:
   • A high proportion of interviewees correctly noted that the length of time depends entirely on the value
        of the house, repayment levels and age of the person buying the house. The above results are only
        representative of popular understandings of how long it takes to pay off any home loan. It is not
        necessarily representative of how long people would prefer to pay off their loan, given their particular
        circumstances.


                                                                                                                            25
      •    The figures for Kowanyama and Lockhart River should be otherwise viewed with caution due to the
           small number of responses recorded.
      •    Notwithstanding this, the median and the range of values recorded are consistent with popular
           understandings of repayment periods for mainstream housing. It is concluded that most respondents are
           generally aware of the length of time taken to purchase a home.

Some indicate quotes from this question are given below:-
                That [the 20 years suggested by the interviewer] would be for a new home. It depends on the value
                of it.

                Depends on what you can afford and age

                Depends on price. Couldn't answer until valuation. Mainstream market shouldn’t be benchmark.
                Age and size and construction material should be considered.

                It depends on how much the house is worth and it depends on the family income, if whole family is
                working.

                Thinks that rent should be backdated and used as a contribution to home ownership payments for
                people who have paid their rent and if the house has been well looked after.



Question 22b: Disincentive to Move Around
          (b)   Do you think that this amount of time would stop you moving around as much as you’d like? [yes/no] Why?


Do you think that this amount of time would stop you          Palm Is.        C’bourg    K’yama        L’hart       Overall
moving around as much as you’d like?                                                                   River
Blank, no response, unsure                                        4.0%           0.0%       30.8%        70.6%        22.7%
No                                                               52.0%          70.0%       30.8%        23.5%        46.7%
Yes                                                              44.0%          30.0%       38.5%          5.9%       30.7%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • Most of the people who responded to the question indicated that the amount of time to pay off the loan
        would not stop them from moving around as much as they would like.
   • Many people commented that they could always get a family member to stay in the house if they left
        the community. At Question 7b, some people were attracted to home ownership for this very reason;
        i.e. they would be able to leave the community without their rental housing unit being reallocated to
        another family.
   • The figures for Lockhart River should be viewed with caution due to the small number of responses
        recorded.

Some indicate quotes from this question are given below:-
                That would be okay. Only move if house was rotten, if no trouble with house won't need to move.

                I am not a nomadic person.

                Ten years would not be an issue but unsure about twenty years.

                Owning her own home would not stop me going away but it would be a magnet to come back
                home.

                There would always be a family member in it and I would always keep paying it off as work
                commitments would be the only reason I would leave the community.

                Would rent house if necessary.

                If repayment takes this long, what happens if death comes?.

                I know that I would have to stay at the house for a while and stay at my job to make repayments.



                                                                                                                         26
Question 23: Importance of Regular Source of Income
       (a)      How important do you think a regular source of income is for buying a home? (very important, reasonably
                important, not important)
       (b)      Why?

The Interviewees encountered some difficulties in explaining the concept of ‘regular source of income’.


How important do you think a regular source of                   Palm Is.      C’bourg       K’yama        L’hart      Overall
income is for buying a home?                                                                               River
Blank, no response, unsure                                          32.0%           0.0%        15.4%       41.2%        22.7%
Not Important                                                         0.0%          0.0%          0.0%        5.9%        1.3%
Reasonably Important                                                  4.0%          5.0%        15.4%       17.6%         9.3%
Very Important                                                      64.0%         95.0%         69.2%       35.3%        66.7%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • Clearly, people were well aware of the need to have a regular source of income in order to purchase a
        home. Most people responded in a manner which implied that the answer was self-evident.

Some indicate quotes from this question are given below:-
                 You have to keep up the repayments on the house.

                 How can you buy a house without this.

                 It's got to be regular. As long as you budget for bills. The biggest part is budgeting.




Question 24: Importance of Rental History
       (a)      Do you think a good rental history is important for people buying a house? (very important, reasonably
                important, not important)
       (b)      Why?


Do you think a good rental history is important for              Palm Is.      C’bourg       K’yama        L’hart      Overall
people buying a house?                                                                                     River
Blank, no response, unsure                                            4.0%          0.0%            n/a     47.1%        22.7%
Not Important                                                         8.0%          5.0%            n/a       0.0%        5.3%
Reasonably Important                                                32.0%         15.0%             n/a      23.5%       21.3%
Very Important                                                      56.0%         80.0%             n/a     29.4%        50.7%

Conclusions / Notes:
   • This question was not applicable at Kowanyama due to the operation of a levy system them.
   • Most people recognised the importance of this a good rental history in determining eligibility for a
        home loan, but.

Some indicative quotes supporting this are given below:-
                 If you are up to date with rent you can show you can be up to date with house repayments.

                 No point someone in debt trying to buy a house.

                 Should be very important for credit check. Proof that you are reliable person in terms of financial
                 matters and looking after the place (controlling damage).
Others sounded warnings about taking this too far:-
                 Gives an indication of ability to pay. Consideration should be given to overall history not just
                 parts of history. (This was in reference to looking at history for say the past five years which
                 might give a different indication to looking at history overall.)


                                                                                                                            27
             Should be noted that attitudes may differ if people are buying and not renting

             This can be taken several ways: renting and buying are different things therefore everyone should
             get a chance to purchase if they want to. Its up to you to look after it then. This is different to
             renting.

             Because once you start buying your house, you know its your home and you have to look after it.
             Lots of people don't pay rent because they haven't got the sense of responsibility, obligations that
             comes with homeownership.




General Comments:
The household survey questionnaire included a final section for general comments. Quotes have been
reproduced below around key themes.

    1.   Perceived benefits that will come with home ownership
             This has been a long time coming. We can't own anything as it stands now. We have no say about
             what happens. Home ownership would increase pride and self worth. People will start caring for
             their homes more than they do now. We don't want outsiders coming in to the community. I would
             like the rights of every Australian to [be able to] borrow and buy. (Palm Island)

             It would be a good thing for the community as a whole. It would give people more responsibility.
             (Palm Island)

             Home ownership would stop dependence on government and stop people taking things for granted.
             Not everyone here thinks the same thing. It's time to do something for ourselves and be
             responsible. (Palm Island)

             I think it would be good for the community if we could own our own homes. It might bring back
             pride. At present we know deep down its not really ours. If someone owns something they look
             after it. (Palm Island)

             The community would benefit from home ownership. Houses will be looked after better, people
             will have more pride, people will respect the place more. (Palm Island)

             I think home ownership is a great idea in communities, at least it should be an option.
             (Cherbourg)

             It might teach people to have respect for other people's property. (Cherbourg)

             Home ownership might give people some incentive to get full time employment and buy their
             homes, but a lot of low income families would not be able to do it or keep up with the repairs and
             maintenance. (Cherbourg)

             If home ownership was introduced it would give people better homes and they would be more
             aware and educated about owning and ownership. They might take more responsibility and care.
             (Cherbourg)

             Home ownership could be good for the community if we can buy the land with the house.
             Vandalism might reduce as people might speak out more strongly against it. What they turn a
             blind eye to now they might take action against. People would also take more pride if they owned
             their homes. (Cherbourg)

             When I was on the council, I argued that when we get funding for say 6 houses, 1 should go to an
             outstation and the remaining 5 should go in town. The following year a different outstation gets a
             house. If we had a house close, say Chilli Beach, we would live there. Chilli Beach has Palm
             Trees, Almond Trees, ships pass close between the island and the point. Live on outstation, get
             away from grog problems, live off the land. (Lockhart River)

    2.   Concerns about home ownership.
             If paying off a house, what happens if you lose the house and have to keep paying for it, for
             example what happens if a cyclone destroys it? (Kowanyama)



                                                                                                                    28
         People here don’t understand about home loans and how difficult it would be to pay it off. People
         know about car loans and a number had arranged car finance - some had managed finance
         through their employer such as the school. People don’t know with a full time job is. People are
         unaware that they would have to hold down a full time job working every day for many years to
         pay off a loan. Most of the people who have full time work, work for the council. Some people got
         station work, but only at CDEP rates so that is not very good. (Kowanyama)

         Definitions of who is Indigenous and who is a resident becomes critical. What happens if the land
         is given back to the traditional owners? What happens if others have bought land here? The land
         will one day be given back to the traditional owners- What will happen when it does? (Lockhart
         River)

         If you are paying, what happens if you cannot repay? If you buy in the township they might take it
         off you and give it to council. But what if it is on your traditional land? (Lockhart River)

         If people claim they own a block, other people say ‘like hell you do - we pay rent for that place.'
         The council has an agreement with the traditional owners. The TO's will probably say you can
         have a house but not the land. This will create a problem if you want to sell. (Lockhart River)

3.   Compensation for past wrongs, recognition of past rental payments
         In working out a homeownership product previous actions by the government toward Aboriginal
         people on DOGITs should be considered. e.g. Homeownership could be approached as some form
         of compensation in recognition of past wrongs and as part of the reconciliation and healing
         process. (Palm Island)

         Should also take into consideration if people have paid rent for 30 years and their rent is up to
         date then those people should be more or less given the homes. This will also encourage people to
         stay in their homes till they pass on. But before they give them to them Council should ensure that
         renovations are done and the house is upgraded for those old people. [Mostly referring to old
         people here]. I don't believe in [them being given the houses] "as is". (Cherbourg)

         Downpayment should be taken into consideration for last five years of rental payments.
         (Cherbourg)

         Should look at rents people have already paid when determining house price. (Cherbourg)

4.   Administration of a home ownership program
         Nominees for home ownership should be assessed by elected councilors and Traditional Owners.
         (Palm Island)

         Need to educate family before buying a house and before we decide to buy. Need to be able to keep
         making payments if income source changes. Need community education about home ownership.
         When we discussed this 5 years ago we said we must be able to own the land as well as the house
         to avoid Council's control. (Palm Island)

         Should start [home ownership program] with a group of about 20 or 30 people first, sit them
         down and explain everything about home ownership, responsibility, roles, awareness, education
         etc. I want freehold title over land that the house I buy is on. I don't want leasehold like the
         churches here have. There would have to be an outlet established here from which to buy
         hardware etc for house repairs and maintenance. (Palm Island)

         Spoken to the Westpac Bank Manager recently about home ownership on Palm Island. (Palm
         Island)

         If you want this project to succeed, you need to follow it through from the start, through the
         middle, to the end. I am warning you that the same people should come into the community to
         develop this research. There are too many organisations involved in housing, ACC, ATSIH,
         ATSIC. (Lockhart River)

5.   Past experience of home ownership
         There are a few people known to this interviewee who, over the last 6-8 years, have left the
         community specifically so they could buy their own homes. (Palm Island)

         Just before the Council came in on Palm, the department asked people in the community if they
         wanted to own their own homes and about 12-15 people put their names down and made a deposit
         of either $100 or $200. (Palm Island)

                                                                                                               29
              Council stopped DATSIP in the 80s from allowing people here to own their own homes. Council
              and Government both have to agree on the development of the land tenure/arrangement that will
              protect the land under your house. Not just the Council. I think it should be an option in this
              community. (Cherbourg)

              In 1989 councils were going around talking about home ownership and perpetual lease. I was
              going to jump at it then but this council never told us about it. I think this community should be
              given the opportunity to own our own homes but there will be disadvantages for some who can't
              afford it. (Cherbourg)




Additional Questions Specially for Kowanyama
Kowanyama was included in the survey because of it’s past history of home ownership. There are about 85
perpetual “Katter” leases which were registered in Kowanyama during the late ‘80s. The existing houses on these
properties were sold to lease holders. All of these houses have subsequently deteriorated to an unacceptable
standard. Kowanyama Aboriginal Community Council has for some time been trying to take over these leases in
order to replace the houses. This process has been very drawn out and complicated. Home owners are now being
offered a new house on the condition that they sign their lease over to Council. Serious complications and delays
have also arisen from dealings with deceased estates since the use of wills are not common.

Seven additional questions were added to household survey specifically for these existing home owners. It was
expected that these home owners would provide a unique insights into the benefits and pitfalls of home
ownership. Unfortunately, only three interviews were conducted with existing home owners and the responses
from these interviews are disappointing. The results are presented below. Interviews with the Council and key
stakeholders in Kowanyama (see next Section) gave much more useful information.


1.   What year did you purchase your house?
              Late 80’s, early 90’s.


2.   How old was the house when you purchased it? What condition was it in?
              The house was fiberglass and in good knick. But the design was not suitable for us. The house has
              three bedrooms opening onto a large covered verandah space/ open living space. When you
              opened the door to the bedroom the neighbour could see straight into the bedroom. There was no
              privacy. They [council] knocked it down.

              Not really old. The house had white ants when we were staying in it, we showed a bloke, they said
              we were better off destroying it, this was after we were in the house for a while.


3.   How much did you pay for it?
         None could remember how much they had paid for their house.


4.   Do you have the title deed to the property?
         None had the title deed and rather suggested that it might be at Council or in the Ranger’s office.

              I recently signed it back to the council, they couldn't build a house there while it was under lease
              to me.


5.   Who has done the maintenance on the house since you have owned it? If maintenance has not been done,
     why not?
              Carpenter through the council, I had to pay for that.

              Council can't maintain the house because it is your house. We asked for confirmation in writing
              stating who owns the house. We pay $30/week levy, but we don't know what that is for. If we own
              the house, we shouldn't have to pay the levy. Every time we want something done they say we can't
              do that because that is your house.




                                                                                                                     30
6.   What have been the advantages to you that have come from home ownership?
         No response.


7.   What are the problems that you have had to face through home ownership?
         No response.


Other Quotes:
                In the 1980s there was a manager here who pushed the house ownership things (Katter leases)- it
                all sort of died off after he left.

                The land is ours, we own the land, the lease is to my old father in law. But council owns the house.
                But council tells us we own the land. If people have got the lease on land and yard and if the
                council/government gave the lease on the land, then council have no right to put a house there.
                They should have sorted these things out long before. Should have been an opportunity for the
                family to ask for a new house. Instead the family is stuck with old house since the government time.
                Who is going to spend money on their house? The carpenters cannot even keep up with all of the
                [Council] work.




                                                                                                                       31
SURVEY OF COUNCIL AND COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS,
QUESTION BY QUESTION
Preamble
The survey focused on household interviews because households will be the basic consumption unit of any home
ownership scheme. However, Councils and other community organisations will have an important role to play
in the administration and management of any scheme. They are also in a better position to strategically comment
on the advantages or disadvantage of home ownership at a “whole of community” level.

The following data is presented in a mixture of notes from the interviewer and quotes from interviewees. The
latter is presented in italics. This format is used consistently throughout this section.

Four questions were asked, with an additional three for Kowanyama only. The range of response went well
beyond the scope of these formal questions and additional responses have been grouped around four identified
issues.


Question I: Advantages to the Community
      What are the advantages for the community which might arise through home ownership?
Palm Island:
The following consensus was reached through consultation with Councillors:-
• Increase in self esteem for the whole community.
• Individual home owners will have more pride in their place.
• Change in attitudes.
• Generate competition to improve yards.
• Shift in attitude from welfare mentality.
• There are a lot of young people at the moment who are looking for responsibility. They may not have ever
    thought of home ownership but they could be interested in it.
Cherbourg:
If home ownership is introduced to the community and people do take on more responsibility for their homes
this could reduce the level of responsibility on Council.
Kowanyama:
Interviews were preoccupied with the failings of the past attempt of home ownership. Council is still try to
resolve problems that arose at that time.
Lockhart River:
Interviews revealed a preference for home ownership on outstations, rather than within the town area, which is
discussed below under a separate issue.


Question II: Problems that Might Arise
      What are the problems that might arise in the community through home ownership?
Palm Island:
The following consensus was reached through consultation with Councillors:-
• Old people won’t be able to afford to buy their own homes before they die.
• Some people may feel they don’t want to own their own homes because their children smash up the homes
    they live in.
• Many people who are on welfare or pensions will never be able to own their own homes.
• Home ownership is something many people have never considered.
• A lot more education is needed here before people can consider it.
Cherbourg:
The following quotes were collected from interviews and meetings:-
              Home ownership could create divisions in the community.


                                                                                                                 32
             If we buy a house and then our children don’t want to live here, could we sell it? It might be hard
             to sell it? Would Council buy it back from us?

             We can now employ white people or anyone under CDEP. This is a watering down of the
             distinction between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. The same could apply in relation to
             home ownership on communities. You may as well then say we are assimilated and that ATSIC will
             disappear.

             Who will organise the price of the houses? There is an Assets register person currently employed
             on the Community who determines the value and depreciation of assets. Insurance here has to be
             calculated on replacement value as there is no market value.

             There are 2 different sources of funding for houses: State and Federal. If someone wants to buy a
             house, would they be buying it from the Federal or State government?

             If people want to purchase land as well as the house would they have to see Council or the TOs
             about this?

             The government says that the houses have been handed over to council and the Council says no
             they haven’t, the Government owns the houses because they can come in and say ‘get these rents
             up to date.’ So, who exactly is the owner of the houses and who can determine what happens with
             them? Are Council or the government making decisions for us and what about self-
             determination?

             People own nothing here, it’s a community thing but Council owns all of it.

             People don’t usually talk about those things [home ownership].

Kowanyama:
             Who will value the house? Do you buy just a house block or a furnished house? A lot of people
             living in council houses have put things in place themselves like gardens and extensions.

             American Indian people came to a meeting and told how in America about half of the reservations
             are owned by whitefellas. Poor American Indian families are forced to sell their land to survive
             economically.

             People haven’t had anything to do with buying a house, they have no experience and do not know
             what is involved.

Lockhart River:
             Tenure issues would be a big thing in home ownership.

             Would home ownership mean an excision from the DOGIT lease? What type of arrangement
             would it be? Who would you sell it to? Could you sell it to someone from outside? If you don’t pay
             your loan the government will take it of you and sell it to someone else.

             How will it mesh into existing programs? Will people be responsible for maintenance? Do people
             pay rates? Does it create a sundry debt pile?



Question III: Should it be an Option
      Do you think that home ownership should be an option in this community? Why / why not?
Palm Island:
All at a Council meeting that home ownership as an option should be introduced.
             We’re Australians like everyone else, we have rights like everyone else. We haven’t had this
             opportunity to now. There is a need for this [home ownership] to be done.

Cherbourg:
             Home ownership would be good as an option on this community but only if the government is fair
             dinkum about it and prepared to acknowledge that Council has the ability. Give Council the
             responsibility to handle it independently of the government. Thus, applications for home


                                                                                                                   33
              ownership should go to the Council as we are in a better position to know the community and
              know who would be able to buy their own home. We should also have the power to decide if we
              want to rent.

              I am interested in compensation but unsure about introducing home ownership to the community.
              Even if you give people a house there is still the issue of maintenance. A big education project is
              required before home ownership is introduced including on budgeting, owning etc. A lot of people
              here live for today. It should be trialed with a very small percentage of the population e.g. 20
              homes and reviewed every 3 years.

              Many people here are not responsible enough. Who is going to pay rates and insurance? About
              30% of the people would say yes to it. About 10% would go for it.

Kowanyama:
Interviews suggest a different notion of home ownership, see separate issue below.
Lockhart River:
For outstations mostly, see separate issue below.
              Guess that Cherbourg people would be more interested in home ownership than in Cape York.



Question IV: Management and Resources Required
      If a home ownership program is introduced into your community, it may increase the amount and complexity of
      housing management arrangements. Is this acceptable? How can this be resourced?
Palm Island:
The following consensus was reached through consultation with Councillors:-
• We recognise a different pricing structure will exist to that on non-DOGIT land.
• Need a bigger housing section with more offices available. Also need a receipting area.
• Different people will have different needs.
• Government gives us these things without training so we will need training too.
• Council should be able to issue a lease to someone who can pass that on to their family and then if all
    members of that family die Council should be able to pass it over to someone else.
Cherbourg:
              In relation to rates, Council has a system in place for calculating a service charge that is applied
              to a number of non-residential facilities currently operating in the community. These include the
              hospital, old people’s home and children’s shelter. The service charge is calculated on the no of
              pedestals and is a charge for sewage, garbage collection, and water. This same system could be
              applied (with adaptation) to homes owned by community members.

              Another system could be the levy system in place at Kowanyama. [Although there was concern
              expressed that this system makes everyone pay the same amount regardless of their
              circumstances]. With this system, who is responsible for damage? At Cherbourg the person
              renting is held responsible for the damage.


Question V (Kowanyama only): What went wrong?
      Can you explain what went wrong with the previous attempt at home ownership in the community?

The following account provides a valuable insight and lesson learnt for the development of any future home
ownership scheme. The following quotes were recorded:-
              In the 1980s the manager was very active signing up heaps of people for the lease, he had
              application forms everywhere. The land was excised from DOGIT and people bought houses from
              council.

              The houses handed over in the lease process were built after the cyclone in 1964. They were built
              in a hurry and they were built where they shouldn’t have been, they were built in a swampy area.
              These houses replaced the pre-cyclone palm frond structures.

              In the old scheme, people paid a minimal amount for the old houses, around $2000. People were
              naive about maintenance, maintenance became a big problem.



                                                                                                                     34
              The valuer general valued the house from photographs a sketch. The prices ranged from $2000-
              $10000. Most of the houses were in the $2000-$3000 range. One house was $10000 another
              around $9000, and a few around $5000-$6000.

              The time when the Katter leases were being pushed, was the same time when the Cultural Record
              Act was introduced removing the word ‘Aboriginal’ from heritage legislation- it was an attempt to
              ‘mainstream’. This community fought hard against mainstreaming. Here people have fought to
              remain as an Aboriginal council, while others in Cape York are community councils which can
              have non-Indigenous members.

              Council sought legal advice regarding tenure in the 1980s and was going to take Katter to court.
              The way things were heading, the Land in Trust area would have ended up in the hands of three
              families. The department was moving towards rationalizing communities. One of the leases that
              they got through before Goss got in was the Kowanyama lease.

              At the time of purchase the council was still coming to terms with itself, it was only a year old and
              it was dealing with complex issues of governance and leases. If you think about this context then
              the problems of these houses can be understood, ie people weren’t sure what they were doing.

              A lot of people who signed up for home ownership didn’t realise that if something broke, they had
              to fix it. Maintenance is difficult, you need to have the money for repairs and maintenance.
              Maintenance became a major issue.

              A significant issue [for the community/council] is what to do with deceased estates.

              There has been debate in the ACC regarding customary law and wills. Home ownership brought
              this issue to the fore. Previously customary law dealt with death and the distribution of the
              possessions of the deceased. Home ownership and wills introduced a new dimension.

              People bought houses for a nominal amount. When people passed away, their children believed
              that the house was theirs, but under Australian law it is not. Council couldn’t build on the land of
              the deceased person. Ended up with busted up houses in town.

              Today there are old houses which people do not live in because they are too run down. Council
              are replacing old homes in town. If council knocks down old home we give the leaseholders the
              option of going back to a new home on that site.

              Another issue of home ownership is mortgages. As soon as land is taken out of a DOGIT, it
              became crown land. To get private leases you have to excise land from the DOGIT which
              becomes crown land. Council is trying to get some of the leases, but they will remain crown land.
              Native Title complicates the issue.

              Recently council had to bite the bullet and do some maintenance on houses on the leases. This is
              because those houses were very run down. People didn’t realise they were responsible for
              maintenance.


Question VI (Kowanyama only): Would you try it again?
      Do you think it is worthwhile to try again?
              No response


Question VII (Kowanyama only): How should things be done differently?
      If so, how should things be done differently this time around?

The existence of informal modes of home ownership was an important issues arising in Kowanyama (described
below) and the following quotes should be read in this context.
              This council is strong and has fought against mainstreaming of the community. Land would have
              to be sold to people from this community, not from outside.

              We should consider the attributes of the current system which work.

              The decision making process for home ownership has to be local so that customary law doesn’t get
              mixed up.



                                                                                                                      35
              A shortage of building blocks adds to the complexity or complications of home ownership in
              Kowanyama. If home ownership were to happen, council would have to have a lot of say about
              infrastructure [to service house blocks]. Edmonton and Taylor undertook a study of future
              expansion alternatives for Kowanyama. Council is resolving issues on houses in the town centre
              [in connection with the Katter leases which is holding up development]. As a result council has
              had to look for sites outside the town centre. While those issues are unresolved the town still
              needs to grow.

              The issue of mortgages- the life span of the house is a big issue when it comes to planning for
              mortgages. The other big issue is the initial cost of the house.




Identified Issue: Different Understandings of Ownership

Palm Island:
There are at least four known cases of people having buried a deceased child in their back yards which engenders
a strong attachment to that land for those families.
              What we have here is unwritten ownership. No-one would take someone else’s home. People can
              and do pass on homes to their children. There are always more relations to take over a house if
              someone passes away.

Cherbourg:
When asked if there was a system of unwritten ownership here as stated on Palm Island it was said that there is
but people at Cherbourg are encouraged to go through the proper channels of putting their name on a list and
waiting their turn. There are no known cases of deceased children being buried in back yards as on Palm Island
which was also given there as a reason for unwritten ownership and attachment to certain houses.
              The current waiting list for a new house on Cherbourg is 7 years. When a person’s name gets
              close to the top of the list a contractor goes to them and asks them about the type of house they
              would like. They have a choice of high or low set, the plan, the location, and the colour. They have
              a choice of about 60 different types of house plan including number and layout of rooms, interior
              décor etc. An upper limit of money is set by Council that they have to work within. This process
              gives people the feeling of ownership of their homes from the start. Council is encouraging
              everyone to put their name down for a new house to give them the sense of ownership. The only
              requirement is that they have to be up to date with their rent.

Kowanyama:
There are many ways of achieving home ownership. There are many forms of home ownership. There are also
complex types of home ownership. For example people have a sense of ownership connected with certain trees
in the township, people identify with particular parts of the township ‘bottom end mob’, ‘ghost town’, ‘lemon
town’, clan groups. These identifications are manifest in children’s games such as touch football.

There are many customary practices in Kowanyama which will impact on home ownership. For example:-
• family ownership compared to individual ownership
• house closing and openings after death
• deceased estates, wills and customary handing over of the possessions of the deceased.
• there is one house with a burial in the yard.
• ownership of trees associated with birthing practices.
• all of the community's mango trees are sited where people’s palm thatch huts were once located and are still
    claimed by certain families.
• avoidance relationships and the location of houses
• local clan groups
              People want to be secure. Council has a system of home ownership. Council comes to a formal
              arrangement with people and says this is your house.

              There are a lot of different ways to own your own home. People might feel ownership over the
              planning process, design consultation and the siting of the house etc. [Alternatively people may
              only feel ownership] through the mainstream way of ownership. There are a few different models.

              The current arrangement is a Levy system. People have their levy, which covers maintenance
              costs, and other costs are deducted from their pay by council. For example, people can have the
              cost of expensive items such as tombstones deducted from their pay. Other family members look


                                                                                                                     36
             after a house while someone is away. Council already have a system of [community] home
             ownership through the levy system. The levy system permits this system of ownership to work.

             We are currently working on the old leases. People sign over the old lease to council. The
             arrangement is they get a new house and they can nominate who their house goes to if they pass
             away. This deals with customary law around the issue of the deceased estate.

             People feel a sense of ownership through security in their tenancy and through succession on
             rental properties, ie where a rental property is passed from one family member to another. These
             are forms of ownership, buying a house is another form of ownership.

             Currently the house is built and then allocated. But in the future the council could allocate a block
             of land then let people choose the design, colour etc of the house.

             Some old houses with big trees, babies navel part is buried under there. People can come back to
             those places and say that is my place. When council wants to cut down a big tree, they respect the
             people who grew the tree and ask for permission. When they put the roads through they must have
             asked people about the trees because there is a tree in the middle of the road.

             The council has an informal ownership scheme. A house is built then allotted to a family. Families
             feel a sense of ownership over that house. It is a family house. If the person/family occupying that
             house were to go away for a while, say to Normanton, then other family members would move in
             and look after that place. For example a niece might look after her uncles place. The council
             would have a hard time moving people out.

Lockhart River:
             When the community was first built, all of the clan members were in one area. As people pass
             away, the house is passed on from generation to generation. Because of this Council has a difficult
             situation if they want to build or allocate a house. Council has to be sensitive to the sense of
             ownership that people have on blocks/ houses.




Identified Issue: Outstations

Cherbourg:
             There are no out stations although people still have knowledge of former camps that were within
             the DOGIT area. Some people have also requested that Council build them a house down near old
             Barraballin but as this is outside the town area Council would not agree to it. There are no
             services in this area either.

Kowanyama:
             Outstation movement and home ownership is another issue. On outstations sheds are built for
             people whose country it is. They have ownership on that, they have ownership on those shelters
             even though they are paid for by various funding sources.

Lockhart River:
             We want to fund housing back to the outstations rather than in here. Home ownership should be
             tied to outstations. The DOGIT area is approximately 1000000 acres but the township blocks are
             400 square meters. Everyone is jammed up.

             A house on an outstation would be a lot better than building a shed. If we had a good house on our
             outstation, then we don’t have to worry about coming in during the wet season, we could stay out
             there. People aren’t happy with the current settlement as they are crushed up together.

             Private ownership will not alleviate the housing shortage here as there are infrastructure issues
             involved. On average there are three people/bedroom at the moment.

             People are keen to move away to subdivisions but the government funded economics of scale make
             this difficult. Infrastructure costs about $30 000/block for blocks which are an extension to the
             existing town services. Blocks which are away from town cost about $100 000 for infrastructure.




                                                                                                                     37
               House has to go to the traditional owners of Lockhart. People should stick to their own
               boundaries and put homes on their own country. People should put homes outside of where the
               community is now.

               People who don’t come from here don’t feel comfortable in here because it is not their country.


Identified Issue: Compensation

Palm Island:
               The issue of home ownership is not necessarily about buying a house – there is also the issue of
               acquiring a house. People who were removed here should be compensated in the form of income
               or a house. This should be about $200,000. What if land was given to you as compensation and
               you pay for the house. Funds made available for buying could be compensation.

Cherbourg:
               People have been working as slaves on the community for years and have been paying rent since
               1976. It’s time they should get compensated for this by being given their houses.

               My parents and grandparents built this community for nothing. They should be compensated for
               that. They have never been compensated for that. Don’t expect us to pay for it [houses]. We want
               to be given houses as compensation.

               If Council gives or sells houses to us the houses should be in good condition. Spending money
               upgrading houses to a certain standard in order to sell them could also be another way of Council
               compensating us for their not looking after the houses and/or being too busy to repair them for us.

               If the government gave old people their houses that they have paid rent on for years that would be
               a good thing. As it is those old people have nothing - at least then they would have something. And
               they would have something to pass onto their kids, like the Housing Commission way.


Identified Issue : Where to from here?

Palm Island:
               What is needed [if home ownership is to be introduced] will need to be quite revolutionary and if
               the government are not prepared to do something revolutionary then you can kiss it goodbye.

               There should be workshops held in the community about home ownership. The ACC should look to
               the government for 3 or 4 workshops to avoid confusion,

               A lot of people do surveys here but we never see the results of them. We want the results of the
               survey to come back to the community with workshops.

               There will be specific needs for each DOGIT community.

Cherbourg:
Council requested that a workshop on home ownership be run in the community.
               There should have been a workshop in the community before this survey was done on the pros and
               cons of home ownership.

               Someone should come to the next ACC meeting and speak about this survey and home ownership
               in general.




                                                                                                                     38
CONCLUSIONS
Summary of Findings: Community by Community
Conclusions on a ‘question by question’, basis have been presented throughout the previous sections, usually just
below the tables of data. The following conclusions are made on a ‘community by community’ basis.
Palm Island
•   There was a motivated and strong interest in home ownership. About a quarter of the people indicated that
    they could not think of anything bad about owning a home.
•   Interviewees generally had a reasonable awareness of relevant issues including economics, but there was
    some diversity in the nature of views and responses.
•   There are more entrepreneurial initiatives on Palm Island generally and home ownership was at times
    viewed from within this framework.
•   The opportunity for young couples to escape from large households was seen as a motivating factor for a
    home ownership scheme.

Cherbourg
•   There was a strong interest concerning home ownership at Cherbourg but probably not as strong as at Palm
    Island. This may be explained by the comparatively high standard of existing housing. There is currently
    tenant choice of site and house design, plus less overcrowding at Cherbourg. Sixteen flats have just been
    built for young couples with their first child.
•   Unlike the other communities, people in Cherbourg expressed a preference to purchase their current house.
•   Interviewees had a more homogeneous response and a consistency of views than at Palm Island.
•   Many people argue for home ownership to be provided as a form of compensation; ie, existing houses
    should be handed over to tenants, either in full or at a subsided rate.

Kowanyama
•   There was only moderate interest in home ownership amongst households and even less interest within
    Council.
•   The negative impacts on households caused by the 'Katter leases' of the 1980s are still being resolved by
    Council, which may be one reason for the conservative response.
•   Council policy that tenants have a right to stay in their long-term rental home provides a form of security
    and may also detract from motivation for a home ownership scheme.
•   Young couples were favourable towards home ownership due to the increased autonomy of having one’s
    own home and ability to escape from overcrowded extended households (sometimes with drinkers), and an
    opportunity to avoid lengthy housing waiting lists.
•   There was not a good understanding of home purchase issues in Kowanyama.
•   There is also a shortage of serviced building sites in Kowanyama township which is limiting housing
    provision.

Lockhart River
•   There was only a moderate level of awareness about home purchase issues and even less within Council.
•   There is a strong interest in a home ownership scheme for family outstations rather than in Lockhart River
    township. The outstation movement in Lockhart River is currently in its infancy.
•   There was a general awareness and sensitivity about the issue of Traditional Ownership of the land on which
    Lockhart River township is located.
•   Young couples at Lockhart were also favourable towards a Home Ownership Scheme due to the increased
    autonomy of having one’s own home and ability to escape from overcrowded extended households
    (sometimes with drinkers), and an opportunity to avoid lengthy housing waiting lists.




                                                                                                                  39
Findings in Response to initial Stakeholder Meeting
The inception of the community survey began at the initial stakeholder meeting in Cairns. At this meeting it was
agreed that the preliminary consultation would determine:-
    1. what exactly do people understand by home ownership.
    2. are people seeking security of tenure or title?
    3. if people simply wish to be able to pass their houses onto their kids, then this is / can be possible
         through the existing rental program.
    4. people may have unrealistic expectations of home ownership and may not be fully informed about all of
         the added responsibilities and costs. It is important to test their commitment once these limitations are
         properly explained.

Each of these topics are examined in term below.
1. Understandings of Home Ownership

There are already informal forms of ownership or attachment to existing houses in each of the communities
surveyed.

Despite the absence of formal mechanisms for home ownership, some households have developed strong
attachments to particular houses and undertaken their own improvements to the house and garden. A high
proportion of households interviewed preferred to purchase their current home (although most indicated their
preference to purchase a new home). A number of people indicated their concern that if they leave the
community, they run the risk of their house being reallocated to another family. The existence of informal
claims of home ownership of existing houses was evident across all four communities, but to varying degrees.

Expectations of formal home ownership varied from household to household and from community to
community, and were not limited to the conventional notion of purchasing a home on a serviced allotment in
town.

In Palm Island, people had a good understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of home ownership, yet
still made an informed choice to purchase a home. The same applied in Cherbourg, but home ownership was
also often tied to demands for compensation. In Kowanyama, responses indicated more culturally appropriate
definitions of home ownership might be met through the existing community housing levy system. In Lockhart
River, home ownership was strongly linked to outstation development.

Different perception of home ownership are discussed further below.

Given the different expectations and constraints of different households and communities, the design of a home
ownership scheme should be flexible enough to accommodate a range of situations. This will largely only be
possible through the devolution of authority to each Community Council to permit them to regulate the scheme
locally.
2. Tenure or Title
At Question 21a, most people rejected a separation of ownership between the house and the land. At Question
21b, most people were also not happy for Council to continue to own the land, although the margin was less
convincing. People interviewed voiced their concerns about control and security of their investment.

Although this response would seem to settle the issue raised at the stakeholder meeting in Cairns (i.e. whether
people are seeking security of tenure and title), the survey did present a range of feasible options. Indeed at this
stage of the process, Government is still to determine what options there are. The feasibility of different tenure
arrangement will be not be determined by community consultation alone and will to a large extent be determined
legal matters concerning deceased estates, native title, and current State and Federal legislation. This is not to
suggest that tenure issues are not strongly relevant to community interests and governance, indeed it would be
difficult to think of an issue which is more pressing. Rather that there are legal ramifications which must first be
resolved before a community can make an informed choice.

Once legal issues have been fully determined, a number of tenure options should be taken back to the community
for further consideration. Most people interviewed were clearly uncomfortable with the notion of separating
ownership of the house from the land. The question of separation of title should only be revisited if concerns
about control and security are fully addressed.



                                                                                                                 40
It is however clear that the all tenure arrangements must restrict sales to within the community, to exclude
external ownership and landlords. This discounts the possibility of alienable freehold tenure. The basic reality
of this was tested and accepted by most respondents through Question 16a & 16b (“Once you own your house
you could sell it. But you may not be able to sell your home to anyone outside of the community. Have you
thought about this? What do you think about this?”). Whilst this may limit the economic potential of home
ownership, it is clear that Councils and households understand the need to protect their unique community
heritage and identity.
3. Importance of Passing Down to Future Generations
Question 9 asked “How important is it for you to have a house to pass onto future generations”. The result was
the most consistent and strongest response to any question (especially at Palm, Kowanyama, Lockhart River).

This result was also supported at Question 16 which explored issues around restrictions on selling properties on
community title land. A large proportion of respondents indicated that they were unconcerned about these
restrictions because they wouldn’t sell their house and would rather keep it in the family. This is strong
indication because people are faced with the fundamental question why do you want a home, whether for
financial gain or other reasons.

The open-ended Question 8a asked “What are the good things that might come with owning, rather than renting,
a house?”. Examination of the results from this question is informative of the relative importance of the “pass
onto future generations” aspiration. Although strongly indicated in the results to this question, other issues were
also indicated including the themes of control, pride and economic benefits.

One of the strongest aspirations for home ownership is the ability to pass a home down to future generations.
However, contrary to popular perceptions, it is not the only reason and other themes surrounding control, pride
and economic benefits are also common.

This suggest a more complex understanding of home ownership than discussed at the Cairns stakeholder
meeting. It is unlikely that all aspirations for home ownership can be summarised as “simply a wish to pass onto
their kids”, although this is clearly one of the most important factors.

4. Appreciation of Complexity and Level of Commitment
Almost all of the quantitative questions (14, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23 and 24) designed to test people’s expectations and
commitment to home ownership were answered positively. Other open ended questions (especially 8a, 8b and
20) revealed rich and diverse responses from all four communities. This was more evident in Palm Island and
Cherbourg than in Kowanyama and Lockhart River.

The survey should clearly dispel concerns made regarding the level of awareness at a community level of the
complexity of home ownership on community title land, at least to the extent that people are in a position to
make an informed choice. Indeed, if anything, the survey instrument underestimated the level of complexity
which suggests that external stakeholders also have something to learn. A high proportion of the interviews
demonstrated that people had realistic expectations and concerns of home ownership and that they were
informed about the added responsibilities and costs.

This does not apply to everyone, but home ownership will never be the aspiration of all, nor will all applicants be
eligible, just as it is for the rest of the developed world.

Sections of each community surveyed, especially Cherbourg and Palm Island, had realistic understandings of the
advantages and disadvantages of home ownership. This is not to suggest that education and other support will
not be required, but rather that these households were in a position to make an informed choice.


Different Understandings of Home Ownership
The survey results from Kowanyama and Lockhart River revealed different and complex understandings of the
ownership of housing. Home ownership may not be a priority for all communities, at least not in a mainstream
sense of purchasing a home on a serviced allotment in town. This is evident from the following outcomes:-
    • The survey instrument was predicated on the purchase of a house, similar to mainstream housing
         markets. Both communities had different understandings of home ownership.
    • The data collection problems encountered in these two communities were to some extent determined by
         the lack of relevance of the survey instrument.


                                                                                                                 41
    •    Both communities generally had less understanding of the complexity and issues surrounding
         mainstream home ownership schemes, than found in Cherbourg and Palm Island.
    •    Both generally expected Council to play a large role, especially with repairs and maintenance.

Kowanyama has already had some experience of a failed home ownership scheme. Although there are various
reasons for the failure of the ‘Katter leases’ in the 1980’s, households and Council remain understandably wary.
Interviews with Council and other community organisations also suggest that there are more culturally
appropriate definitions of home ownership and that informal modes of home ownership already exist in
Kowanyama.

Kowanyama takes pride in its independence, and it’s collective strength as a community. Several key people in
Council were of the opinion that aspirations for home ownership in Kowanyama could be met through
adjustments to the current Council levy housing system. It was argued that people already have undisputed
ownership of certain houses in town, including the right to pass onto future generations. It was suggested that
ownership could be promoted through fostering greater control over the house allocation process, including
design consultation and siting of the house. At Kowanyama, some people felt that notions of home ownership
might operate more at a community rather than a household level.

This response was largely from Council and/or representative organisations. Unfortunately, it was not possible
to substantiate this at a household level, because the survey instrument was based on the option of purchasing a
house. From the results gathered in the course of the survey, it is clear that a significant proportion of people
interviewed do have an aspiration to own their home, but exactly how is unclear.

If the community at Kowanyama wishes to further explore the option of home ownership, it is recommended that
additional household consultation be undertaken with a different survey instrument which explores more
culturally appropriate dimensions of home ownership.


The survey at Lockhart River revealed a strong community priority for outstation development. Most people
were interested in home ownership to the extent that it translated to housing development on their outstation.
This clearly went beyond the scope of the survey and introduces a range of unique issues associated with
outstation development, including the security of traditional land ownership, and the provision of infrastructure
and delivery of services in remote locations. These aspirations for home ownership on outstations are perfectly
legitimate. This does however present a quite different situation to purchasing houses on serviced allotments in
the community township, as originally proposed by the survey, and as widely understood by the notion of “home
ownership”.

Given the strong links between outstation location and traditional associations to land, home ownership is
inextricably linked to the outstation movement. It is therefore not considered appropriate to consider the
outstation movement at Lockhart River under the banner of home ownership alone, but rather, home ownership
would be better considered as one part of the outstation movement there.

Both communities fell short of rejecting the notion of home ownership. The survey results do however suggest
that home ownership may not be a priority for all communities in Queensland, at least not in the conventional
sense of purchasing a house on a service allotment in town. Other options could potentially be found which
might satisfy these broader community definitions of “ home ownership”.

This generalisation should not however be drawn for other communities on the Cape, nor for similarly remote
areas. For example, aspirations for purchasing a home have been separately reported at Old Mapoon and
Hopevale.

The response at Kowanyama and Lockhart River is counter balanced by the response at Palm Island and
Cherbourg where home ownership is understood in the conventional manner of purchasing the house. It is
expected that similar aspirations might also be found at Woorabinda and Yarrabah. Regardless of the
complications which arose at Kowanyama and Lockhart River, there is clearly a section of Cherbourg, Palm
Island and other similar communities who are in a position to make an informed choice to purchase their home.
This aspiration is a strong demonstration of initiative and self determination which deserves support.

A home ownership scheme should be developed and trailed in Palm Island and Cherbourg on a small scale. As
the project is implemented and lessons learnt, the project should be expanded to include other households in
these communities and then to other communities.



                                                                                                                42
Implication Arising of Relevance to the Design of a Home Ownership Scheme

This survey report will inform a design process by the Queensland Department of Housing to develop a home
ownership scheme(s).

The design of a home ownership scheme should take account of the reasons for the failure of the ‘Katter Leases”
in Kowanyama, including:-.
• It was a government imitative pushed by the Community Manager rather than the community itself. (The
    Council had only recently been established and was still finding its feet.)
• The houses sold were already old and close to the end of their life cycle.
• People did not understand that maintenance was their responsibility. There was no education program or
    other support provided to home owners.
• Land dealings for deceased estates and/or transfer of the lease back to Council were not resolved from the
    onset.

The design process should also address a number of key concerns raised in the course of the survey
• Insurance against events beyond ones control; e.g cyclones, vandalism
• In order to prevent non-Indigenous or wealthy Indigenous families from becoming landlords, it will be
    necessary for the housing market to be closed to within the community.
• Protection of native title rights.
• People’s ability to keep up with repayments and maintenance.
• Dealings with default.
• Location of home owner units will be determined by the availability of serviced blocks and people may not
    be able to get their preferred location.
• Existing houses must be brought up to an acceptable standard before going up for sale.
• Dealing with deceased estates.
• Decision making processes, especially land matters, must be devolved to the local level.
• Payment of rates and other charges to Council.

Of all of the realities of home ownership on community title land, none is harder to accept than the fact that
people may not get back what they initially paid for a house. Whilst this happens occasionally in mainstream
housing markets, it is almost guaranteed in the closing housing market of community title land. (This issue is
also explored in the Scoping Study report.) Question 16c explored this issue and although people were accepting
or not concerned, others were not.

The design of a home ownership scheme should explore ways to protect the resale value of properties. This
might involve a valuation formulae and the Council acting in an intermediary capacity for all sales with a ‘buy-
back’ option.



Affordability
The Scoping Study report (www.iig.com.au/mfmoran) estimated that affordable level of repayments would be
approximately $39 per week. The results from Question 11 indicate that this may have been underestimated.
When asked “how much do you think you could afford in repayments if you were buying your house” the
median response was approximately $80 per week. Although this survey result is highly indicative, it would
suggest a greater range of affordable options than recommended in the Scoping Study.

Results from the household survey should be complemented with an analysis of census data to better understand
household income characteristics and distribution across the four communities.

The issue of affordability will be critical, and if not mitigated, large sections of the community will be excluded
from home ownership. These include :-
    • Retired people
    • People who are towards the end of their working career
    • People on social security or CDEP



                                                                                                                  43
If home ownership is going to be an option for more than a privileged few, a way must be found to improve the
affordability of home ownership programs to a broader community level. The need for this may reduce with
time once a home ownership program is established and economic conditions in the community are seen to
improve.

The design of a home ownership scheme should explore ways to subsidise home ownership, so as to improve
accessibility to the general community population.

The demands for compensation in lieu of purchasing were particularly strong in Cherbourg, but were also heard
in other communities. It is possible that such claims could be settled with offers of subsidised home ownership
schemes, similar to the models given in the Scoping Study. This would of course need to be negotiated with the
communities concerned.

Home ownership may need to be limited to within the community township area and/or to serviced sites and
where native title implications are reduced or minimal. Home purchasers may wish to choose the ideal location
for their new house and may prefer to build out of town. This will raise potential problems with servicing such
sites and there may be native title implications. These problems are less likely to arise if people are purchasing
an existing housing unit in town.


Remaining Steps to the Process
The consultation has been effective in raising awareness in the four communities about home ownership and the
project. The interviewers have established personal contact and some rapport. A second round of consultation,
with a number of viable options or models of a home ownership scheme, would be much more effective and
comprehensive.

The results of the preliminary community survey should provide sufficient information to permit the HPA area
of the Queensland Department of Housing to develop options for home ownership schemes, as it is proposed in
the Department’s workplan. However, these options also need to be taken back to the community. The viability
of a home ownership scheme(s) at a community level can then begin to be realistically tested and refined. It will
be tempting to look too closely at the survey data and to draw out unrealistic conclusions on the viability of
different options.

It is considered that the next round of consultation would best be undertaken through focus group workshops.

A series of community workshops should be held after models and further details of a viable home ownership
scheme(s) have been finalised. This should include two separate sets of workshops. One set of workshops
should be held with Council and Council officers to explore the role of the Council in administering and
resourcing a home ownership scheme. A separate set of workshops should be held with prospective home
owners to further develop details of a home ownership scheme.


Copies of this report should be presented and distributed as follows:
   • Ten copies of the report to each of the four communities for their internal use and distribution. Each of
        the interviewers should be contacted to see whether copies of the report should be addressed to certain
        key informants, especially those that requested a copy of the report.
   • The report results should be formally presented to the next full Council meeting of the ACC.
   • A copy of the report should be sent to the Torres Strait Regional Authority and the Island Coordinating
        Council.
   • A copy of the report should be sent to the office of the Cape York Partnership Plan, which is also
        separately pursuing the issue of home ownership on the Cape.
   • Several copies of the report should be sent to the State and National offices of ATSIC.


Some Final Quotes

              What is needed [if home ownership is to be introduced] will need to be quite revolutionary and if
              the government are not prepared to do something revolutionary then you can kiss it goodbye.

              There will be specific needs for each DOGIT community.



                                                                                                                  44
             If you want this project to succeed, you need to follow it through from the start, through the
             middle, to the end. I am warning you that the same people should come into the community to
             develop this research. There are too many organisations involved in housing, ACC, ATSIH,
             ATSIC.

             Home ownership would be good as an option on this community but only if the government is fair
             dinkum about it and prepared to acknowledge that Council has the ability. Give Council the
             responsibility to handle it independently of the government. Thus, applications for home
             ownership should go to the Council as we are in a better position to know the community and
             know who would be able to buy their own home. We should also have the power to decide if we
             want to rent.

             I am interested in compensation but unsure about introducing home ownership to the community.
             Even if you give people a house there is still the issue of maintenance. A big education project is
             required before home ownership is introduced including on budgeting, owning etc. A lot of people
             here live for today. It should be trialed with a very small percentage of the population e.g. 20
             homes and reviewed every 3 years.

             Many people here are not responsible enough. Who is going to pay rates and insurance? About
             30% of the people would say yes to it. About 10% would go for it.




ACC Resolution

The ACC passed the following resolution after the preliminary finding were presented at a Full Council Meeting
on 4 April, 2000:-
             Resolution 14 Home ownership: ACC Full Council endorses the recommendations including in
             the preliminary Community consultation Summary Report(April 2001). This includes the
             recommendation that: "Further Community consultation be undertaken after the models and
             further details of a viable home ownership scheme(s) have been finalised". Moved: Ken Bone
             Seconded: James Dick




                                                                                                                   45
       APPENDIX I
SURVEY INSTRUMENT




                46
HOUSEHOLD SURVEY FORM

HOME OWNERSHIP ON DEED OF GRANT IN TRUST COMMUNITIES



Notes for interviewer

1   Interviewers should be familiar with the following document: Moran (1999), Home Ownership for
    Indigenous People living on Community Title Land in Queensland: Scoping Study Report, Queensland
    Aboriginal Coordinating Council, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.
2   The survey is being conducted at an early stage of a process to develop a home ownership product for
    community title land in Queensland. At this stage, details of the product, including the level of subsidy,
    property valuation, projected repayments and tenure arrangements have not been resolved. It will therefore
    not be possible to be specific on these matters. Programming of the consultation at the beginning of the
    process has been set by the client (see proposed Workplan by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
    Housing).
3   Target heads of households for interviews, or a spokesperson who is able to speak on behalf of the
    household. Only interview households who have expressed an interest or strong view on home ownership.
    Simply record the name of householders who express no interest in home ownership.
4   There is a long history of home ownership at Kowanyama, which is now widely held to be a failure. The
    interviewer should be prepared for an emotional response from existing homeowners.
5   To the greatest extent possible, attempt to transcribe a few quotes verbatim, especially if they encapsulate
    the nature of a discussion.
6   To the greatest extent possible, household surveys should be preceded by (and/or followed with) a focus
    group meeting to discuss some of the issues surrounding home ownership on community title land.




                                                                                                                   47
STORY PAGE

Who are we?

We are part of team of consultants from the firm of Paul Memmott and Associates and linked to the Aboriginal
  Environments Research Centre, University of Queensland.
•   Steve Long is working in Kowanyama and Lockhart River.
•   Rachael Stacy is working in Palm Island and Cherbourg.
•   John Holt from the ATSI Housing Program, Qld Department of Housing will be accompanying us also.


What are we doing?

1   Many Indigenous groups on DOGIT land in Queensland have expressed an interest to purchase their own
    home. This may be possible, but there are many issues that must be resolved first.

2   We are asking: What does home ownership mean to you?

3   We would also like to discuss with you some of the advantages and disadvantages of home ownership?

Who wants to know this?

1   We have been asked to do this work by the Aboriginal Coordinating Council (ACC) and the ATSI Housing
    Program, Queensland Department of Housing.

2   The ACC needs this information so that it can report back to the Full ACC Council.

3   The ATSI Housing Program needs this information so that it can try to develop a home ownership product
    for DOGIT communities that will work properly.

How will this help you?

•   By helping us, answer our questions … your word will be heard in the ACC and ATSI Housing.

•   This may lead to a home ownership becoming an option on DOGIT land in Queensland

What we will do with the information we collect?

•   All information collected during the survey will be kept in strict confidence and destroyed at the end of the
    project.

•   A report will be prepared and distributed to the Council office which will available for community members
    to read.


WHAT WE CAN’T DO

•   We can’t sign you up for a home loan. The project is at a preliminary stage only.

•   We can not fix up any problems in your house at present. You must talk to your Council office about this.




                                                                                                                48
Read out:-

Information you provide will be treated in the STRICTEST CONFIDENCE at all times. Any details you give us
through this survey will be used for this project only and then destroyed.

Questionnaire Date:                              Place:                              Ref. No.:

1.   Is your household interested in buying a home? [Yes/ No.] (if no, record identity of household and do not
     continue with interview).


2.   Name of interviewee? [Note: This will be kept confidential (not essential information). Alternatively could
     put street/house number or lot number for identification. Or any sort of reference number.]


3.   (a) Gender of interviewee? [M/F]

     (b) Approximate age?


4.   (a) Are you the head of the household? [yes/no]

     (b) Are you able to speak on behalf of the household? [yes/no] (If not, find someone who is!)


5.   (a) How many people are there in this household and what is there gender and approximate age (including
         children but excluding visitors)? [The names of the people need NOT to be recorded.]
     (b) What are the different sources of the household’s income for the adult members? (eg. employment,
     wages,
          CDEP, welfare, benefits, craft sales.)
     Name:___________________ Gender: _______ Age: _________ Income type: _________________________

     Name:___________________ Gender: _______ Age: _________ Income type: _________________________

     Name:___________________ Gender: _______ Age: _________ Income type: _________________________

     Name:___________________ Gender: _______ Age: _________ Income type: _________________________

     Name:___________________ Gender: _______ Age: _________ Income type: _________________________

     Name:___________________ Gender: _______ Age: _________ Income type: _________________________

     Name:___________________ Gender: _______ Age: _________ Income type: _________________________

     Name:___________________ Gender: _______ Age: _________ Income type: _________________________


6.   How many houses does the household currently have to live in? (eg. community house and outstation
     house.)



7.   (a) What are the good things about renting your current home?



     (b) What are the bad things?




                                                                                                              49
8.   (a) What are the good things that you think might come with owning, rather than renting, a house?


     (b) What might be the bad things?



9.   (a) How important is it for you to have a house to pass onto future generations?

     Very important
     Reasonably important
     Not important

     (b) If important, why?



10. (a) Would you mind telling us what your current rental payments are, or give us a rough idea (a range) of
    what your payments are?

     (b) Are you usually up to date? [yes/no] [Need to be very sensitive about this one.]


11. How much do you think you could afford for weekly repayments if you were buying your house. (yes/no
    answer)
    (a) current rental payments
    (b) twice the current rental payments
    (c) three times the current rental payment


12. (a) Do other members of the household currently contribute to the weekly rental payments? [yes/no]

     (b) If so, how many? [record a number]

     (c) Do you think that they would contribute to the cost of weekly repayments if you were purchasing a
     home?
         [yes/no/some]


13. Which would you prefer to do:
    (a) Would you prefer to purchase the house that you are currently living in? [yes/no]

     (b) Would you prefer to purchase a new home? [yes/no]

     (c) Would you prefer to purchase an existing home, that is different to one that you are currently living in?
         [yes/no]

        If (c), why?



14. [If the interviewee answers Q.18 with preference (b), ask the following]

     The higher the price of your house, the more you will have to pay each week.
     So your weekly repayments will be higher if you purchase a new home, rather than an old existing home.
     Have you thought about this? [yes/no]



15. When would you like to buy your own home?
    (a) as soon as possible
    (b) in the next year or two
    (c) not for some years.

                                                                                                                 50
16. (a) Once you own your house you could sell it. But you may not be able to sell your home to anyone
    outside of the community. Have you thought about this? [yes/no]

    (b) What would you think if you could not sell to anyone outside the community?

    (c) If you sell your house, you may not get the price that you originally paid for it.   Have you thought about
        this? [yes/no]

    (d) What would you think if this happened? (Do you know of anyone this has happened to or have you heard
    of it happening to anyone?)


17. When you buy a home you would normally become responsible for repairs, maintenance, insurance and
    maybe even rates. Have you thought about this? [yes/no]


18. If you were responsible for repairs and maintenance:
    (a) Would you do the repairs yourself? [yes/no]

    (b) Do you think you have the tools to do the repairs yourself? [yes/no]



19. (a) Would you get someone else to do the repairs? [yes/no]

    (b) If so, who would you go to?



20. (a) Would you expect Council to have an ongoing role to assist you after you have begun to purchase your
    house? [yes/no]

    (b) If so, how?



21. (a) Would you be happy to enter into an agreement whereby you own your house, but not necessarily the
    land underneath? [yes/no]

    (b) Would it be acceptable to you if Council continued to own the land? [yes/no]



22. (a) How many years do you think is needed for buying a home? [record a number]

          Why?

    [If the interviewee does not know, or is clearly mistaken, interviewer to suggest 20 years.]

    (b) Do you think that this amount of time would stop you moving around as much as you’d like? [yes/no]

            Why?



23. How important do you think a regular source of income is for buying a home?

    (a)     Very important
            Reasonably important
            Not important

    (b)     Why?


                                                                                                                51
24. Do you think a good rental history is important for people buying a house?

     (a) Very important
         Reasonably important
         Not important

     (b) Why?




For existing home owners at Kowanyama only:


1.   What year did you purchase your house?

2.   How old was the house when you purchased it? What condition was it in?

3.   How much did you pay for it?

4.   Do you have the title deed to the property?

5.   Who has done the maintenance on the house since you have owned it? If maintenance has not been done,
     why not?

6.   What have been the advantages to you that have come from home ownership?

7.   What are the problems that you have had to face through home ownership?


If possible, take some photographs of the home owner housing unit.




                                                                                                            52
COUNCILLORS AND HOUSING OFFICERS SURVEY FORM

HOME OWNERSHIP ON DEED OF GRANT IN TRUST COMMUNITIES

CONFIDENTIAL

Information you provide will be treated in the STRICTEST CONFIDENCE at all times. Any details you give us
through this survey will be used for this project only and then destroyed.



Notes for Interviewer

1.   Update the attached ACC Community Housing Profiles for Cherbourg, Kowanyama and Lockhart River and
     use as a similar template to create a community housing profile for Palm Island.


1.   What are the advantages for the community which might arise through home ownership?


2.   What are the problems that might arise in the community through home ownership?


3.   Do you think that home ownership should an option in this community? Why / why not?


4.   If a home ownership program is introduced into your community, it may increase the amount and complexity
     of housing management arrangements. Is this acceptable? How can this be resourced?



FOR KOWANYAMA ONLY

1.   Can you explain what went wrong with the previous attempt at home ownership in the community?


2.   Do you think it is worthwhile to try again?


3.   If so, how should things be done differently this time around?




                                                                                                          53

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:2
posted:3/16/2013
language:Latin
pages:54
ihuang pingba ihuang pingba http://
About