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In an era where the dream of homeownership is increasingly slipping away from many Australians, the Northern Territory faces its unique set of challenges.

The critical housing shortage, skyrocketing costs and diminishing affordability have become alarming issues that demand immediate and strategic action. It is with a sense of urgency and a commitment to the wellbeing of Territorians that we, at the Property Council of Australia’s NT Division, propose a budget plan.

Drawing inspiration from Queensland’s Homes for Queenslanders, our proposed Homes for Territorians is tailored to address the NT’s specific needs. The housing market data paints a grim picture: median house prices in greater Darwin have risen slightly and the number of dwelling approvals has plummeted, significantly trailing behind the national average. These figures are not mere statistics, but a reflection of the growing pressures faced by our community.

The acute shortage of affordable housing is exacerbated by cost-ofliving pressures, rising interest rates and a severe lack of new housing supply. This crisis disproportionately affects those in lower socioeconomic positions, who are increasingly unable to escape the rental market’s tightening grip. This situation is untenable and requires a bold, multifaceted approach.

Our budget submission to the Treasurer and Chief Minister Eva Lawler outlines strategic recommendations aimed at revitalising the housing market and making homeownership more accessible. Key proposals include extending stamp duty concessions, revising the HomeBuild Access scheme and promoting “right-sizing” through incentives for seniors.

Additionally, we advocate for strategic housing development and supply initiatives, crucial infrastructure investment to support new developments, and a focus on purpose-built student accommodation to cater to the educational sector’s needs.

Central to our proposal is leveraging federal initiatives such as the Housing Australia Future Fund and the National Housing Accord. These programs offer a framework for collaborative efforts to unlock sustainable, quality housing solutions. By partnering with government, industry and community stakeholders, we can address the housing shortage and work towards a future where every Territorian has access to affordable, quality housing.

Our Five Pillars to Support Homes for Territorians” outlines a clear path forward, emphasising the need to build more homes quickly, support renters, assist first homeowners, boost social housing and work towards ending homelessness. This comprehensive strategy is not just about building houses – it’s about fostering communities where every individual can thrive. The challenges we face are significant, but not insurmountable. Through decisive action, innovative solutions and collaborative efforts, we can transform the housing landscape and with it spur economic development in the NT. Our proposal represents a call to action for all stakeholders to come together and address this critical issue head-on.

The time for comprehensive, coordinated action is now. We look forward to discussing these recommendations in detail and exploring partnerships to achieve our shared goals. Together, we can ensure that the dream of homeownership becomes a reality for more Territorians, building a stronger, more inclusive community