Raymond Terrace information session to encourage Indigenous Australia’s into owning their own home

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Port Stephens Examiner

Ellie-Marie Watts

TURNING the Port’s population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents into homeowners is the aim behind a Raymond Terrace information session to be held on Thursday, June 25.

Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Services will host Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) on Thursday, which hopes to entice Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people to invest in the area’s relatively affordable housing market.

“Prices in some parts of Port Stephens are cheaper than in Newcastle and even cheaper than Sydney for Indigenous people to purchase a home or become homeowners,” said Richard Burton from IBA.

“We chose Raymond Terrace to hold an information session because of the high population of Indigenous people there.

“Our interest is getting around to as many of the regional towns as we can with an Indigenous population to promote home ownership.”

According to Business Port Stephens, buying a house in the LGA would cost $117,000 less than compared to the median sales price of the rest of NSW.

As at March 2015, the median sales price for all dwellings in Port Stephens was $410,000.

The 2011 Australian Bureau of Statistics census showed that across the nation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people were more likely to rent (59 per cent) than own their home with a mortgage (25 per cent) or own their home outright (11 per cent).

In Port Stephens on census night 2328 people identified themselves as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

The group made up 3.6 per cent of the Port’s population, which was higher than the national average of 2.5 per cent.

Data collected from the census showed the median household income of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people was $1026.

The median weekly rent paid was $235 and the median monthly mortgage repayment was $1800.

Manager of Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Services, Sue Pollock, said IBA’s free information session was a “great opportunity” for the Port Stephens Aboriginal community.

“We think it is a really important thing to offer to the community,” Ms Pollock said.

Mr Burton will be at the support service’s office at 3 Phillip Road all day on Thursday, June 25 where he will talk about IBA’s Indigenous Home Ownership Program.

Bookings are suggested but not necessary.

Phone Mr Burton on 0429 104 436.