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The Anindilyakwa Land Council has forged a unique agreement with the Northern Territory Government over housing.

The Housing Department has agreed to use the home designs developed by the land council for the properties it is building on Groote Eylandt.

“We’ve got an excellent relationship with the Territory Government’s Department of Housing and are very pleased with this agreement,” says Infrastructure and Development manager Matt Houston.

“We sat down with senior executives from the department and put our design to them.

“It means there will be consistency and equality in housing design across both programs.”

Residents are the big winners from the agreement.

The land council’s homes are larger and more robust with higher ceilings, more light and better airflow.

Clever design allows them to be expanded up to five bedrooms, depending on the size of the family, and even modelled for multi-generational living, with mum and dad at one end and their married children and grandchildren at the other.

This means the properties are more expensive and the ALC has agreed to make up the difference.

The land council has built 25 homes and is building a further 10; the Government is building 60.

There is a critical shortage of housing on Groote – the average property is home to 15 people. Some houses have 20 residents.

The ALC’s Infrastructure and Development unit is undertaking a $140 million building program on Groote, including a school and recreation centres.