Department of Communities - Remote Aboriginal Housing

Information for remote Aboriginal community housing tenants and applicants.
Last updated:

The Department of Communities (Communities) and Regional Service Providers (RSP) conduct property and tenancy management for remote Aboriginal community housing in the East Kimberley, West Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid-West Gascoyne and Goldfield regions.

Your Communities Housing Services Officer or RSP are the first people to contact if you want information about your tenancy.

The Housing Authority operates within the Department of Communities.

​Overview of direct management

The Department of Communities directly manages the housing in Aboriginal communities in the East Kimberley, West Kimberley, Mid-West/Gascoyne and Halls Creek.

Housing Officers are located either within the community or at your closest Communities Housing Office. Housing Officers are the first people to contact if you want information about your house or tenancy.



Level 1, 45 Cathedral Avenue 6530

Tel: 6414 3320


6 Robinson Street 6701

Tel: 9941 6500
Fax: 9941 2419



30 Frederick Street 6725

Tel: 6277 3833


16 - 22 Loch Street 6728

Tel: 6277 3880


16 Coolibah Drive 6743

Tel: 6215 1501
Fax: 6154 6412
Toll Free: 1800 176 888​

Halls Creek

5 Hall Street 6770

Tel: 6277 3811
TTY: 9221 3985

Housing allocations

Annexure A of the Housing Management Agreement outlines how the housing waitlist will be managed.

The Aboriginal Housing Policy Manual - Allocations Policy details the factors used to identify and allocate an available property to an applicant on the waitlist.

Allocations can be based on health reasons, time already spent on the waitlist or family size for example. Ask your Housing Services Officer or RSP about the Allocations Policy for your community.


Annexure A of the Housing Management Agreement outlines how housing eligibility will be managed.

An example of an eligibility condition is that an applicant must be 16 years of age and have a family, cultural or traditional connection to the community.

An example of an applicant not being able to apply is if they have an outstanding debt owed to the Department of Communities (Housing) or the Community Council.

Ask your Housing Services Officer or RSP about the eligibility policy for your community.

Cultural circumstances

Sometimes you may need to be absent from the property for cultural reasons. 

Your community may have an agreement with Communities about what rent must be paid in your absence. This agreement will also state the period of time you may be away.

If you are away for Sorry Business, you might not have to pay your rent while you are away.

If you are away for Lore Business, you might have to keep paying your rent.

The most important thing to remember is to notify your Housing Services Officer or RSP if you have Sorry Business or Lore Business to attend to. They will make sure your rent is being calculated correctly.

Repairs and maintenance

Properties located in Aboriginal communities can have approved emergency plumbing repairs completed by a qualified environmental health representative.

Approved plumbing work includes:

  • Replacement of tap washers, spindles, handles and shower roses (except when additional plumbing work is required). 
  • Replacement of “P” and “S” traps under sinks, basins or troughs. 
  • Replacement of hose taps and hose tap vacuum breakers. 
  • Replacement of cistern inlets, outlet washers and valves.
  • Capping of burst water mains and damaged waste pipes (or sanitary drain) to prevent a risk to human health, safety, or a significant waste of water. 
  • Replacement of general covers, including broken inspection or gully mounds. 
  • Unblocking of waste pipes, drains, toilets, showers, basins, troughs, sinks and baths.

In addition to completing emergency plumbing repairs, environmental health representatives are encouraged to report and/or request repairs and maintenance for properties in remote Aboriginal communities.

To report urgent/critical maintenance such as the following, call Housing Direct on 1300 137 677 (then press 1):

  • Issues related to electrical safety devices such as smoke alarms and RCDs,
  • Plumbing blockages,
  • Gas or water leaks,
  • Property security, and/or 
  • No access to hot water or electricity)

To report non-essential maintenance, contact your Housing Services Officer or RSP.

Frequently asked questions

How many people are ahead of me on the waiting list?

This is hard to say. Offers of housing are affected by:

  • The number of properties in the area you want to live in
  • The number of properties that become available when people move out
  • The number of people on the wait list who have a greater need than you.

Each of these factors can change very quickly.

Every day people change their housing preferences to a different location or ask to be removed from the wait list, so we are not able to know exactly when properties will become available.

We monitor the wait list for remote Aboriginal communities with the Community Council. Each community may have different rules about eligibility and allocations. This will be outlined in your community’s Housing Management Agreement.

Can I choose the number of bedrooms?

The number of bedrooms depends on the number of people listed on your application. The size of the property allocated to you will match the size of your family.

Can I choose what building materials my property will be made of?

The building materials of our properties vary according to when they were built. We ensure all properties are of a good standard, regardless of how old the property is or what building materials are used.