The Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities has established the Healthy Homes program to provide a systems approach to improving health outcomes associated with poor housing conditions.
Healthy Homes is underpinned by the evidence based nine healthy living practices, which recognise the importance of a house’s physical equipment — also known as ‘health hardware’ — in promoting hygienic living. This equipment generally relates to a house’s water supply, sanitation and food preparation functions.
Research has shown that improving essential health hardware will lead to improvements in health and reduce the risk of disease and injury.
The healthy living practices are:
- washing people, especially children
- washing clothes and bedding
- removing wastewater safely
- improving nutrition
- reducing the impact of crowding
- reducing the impact of animals, insects and vermin
- reducing the impact of dust
- improved temperature control
- reducing hazards that cause trauma.
Healthy living practices have already been integrated into Our Community. Our Future. Our Homes., including the design guidelines for Room to Breathe and HomeBuild programs. For the design guidelines, go to the Our Community. Our Future. Our Homes. website.
Through the Building our communities, together Town Camps Reform Framework 2019-2024 , the department has invested more than $40.9 million in housing and infrastructure projects, with a focus on upgrading the health hardware of existing houses.
The Healthy Homes program includes the following elements:
Housing for Health — the department is working with Healthabitat to deliver the Housing for Health ‘survey fix’ repairs and maintenance program in approximately three to -four remote communities and town camps per annum until 2026-27. For more information on the Housing for Health model, go to the Housing for Health — the guide website.
Remote property and tenancy management (PTM) — the department is integrating healthy living practices into the delivery of remote PTM services across all 73 leased remote communities and Alice Springs town camps to deliver an enhanced approach to repairs and maintenance.
Healthy Homes will promote preventative repairs and maintenance models that focus on ensuring that houses’ health hardware (such as fixtures or fittings used for cooking, food storage washing and sanitation) is functioning to support the healthy living practices.
Capacity building and community education — the department is working with Aboriginal organisations and the environmental health workforce to build communities’ understanding of healthy living practices and to roll out community-based programs around housing and hygiene.
Monitoring and evaluation — the department is working with Menzies School of Health to assess the health and social impacts of Healthy Homes and to inform changes to service delivery models.
View the Healthy Homes program guidelines on the Our Community. Our Future. Our Homes. website.
As of March 2021, the department has worked with Healthabitat to deliver the Housing for Health program to 33 houses in Jilkminggan.
Last updated: 06 May 2021
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