PROGRAMS that have provided housing and infrastructure services to indigenous communities for 40 years are failing and should be abolished, according to a scathing new report.
The claims bolster the Federal Government's case for an overhaul of Aboriginal housing.
In some remote indigenous communities, houses have been built without water or power, with plumbing running uphill or waste from nearby rubbish tips flowing into drinking water, the report to government by accountancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers said.
In some areas up to 30 people are living in houses built for four or five. Nepotism and rorting of housing schemes have left some without suitable homes, while others jump the queue or get more than one house.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough said the Community Housing and Infrastructure Program (CHIP) had failed and needed urgent reform.
"While billions of dollars have been invested in indigenous housing, there is too little to show for it," he said. Last month, he told Sydney radio station 2UE that despite $5 billion of funding for Aboriginal housing over the past decade there had been "no appreciable improvement or increase in the number of homes".
Mr Brough told the same radio program he would ask cabinet to get rid of Aboriginal public housing programs in cities, and divert the money to repair housing in remote areas.
Labor's indigenous affairs spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said the Government has had the power to stamp out alleged rorting of the housing system.
She said abolishing support for indigenous housing in the cities would make Australia's housing crisis worse.
The PriceWaterhouseCoopers report recommends a move to individual home ownership and building houses with reliable water, power and sewerage connections.