Australia is facing a chronic lack of social and affordable housing, with research from the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation showing the country is set to face a significant shortfall of 163,400 dwellings between 2025-32.

To address the need for housing in the Northern Territory (NT), the Government has 6,008 properties in urban and regional locations, yet in February more than 5,700 applicants were still on the social housing waitlist.

While communities and all levels of government look for better ways to manage this demand, Yilli Rreung Housing is working hard to help address the issue and scale up their mission to get more people into stable homes.

Backed by part of NAB’s $2 billion affordable housing commitment, Yilli is a peak independent, non-government, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that aims to deliver affordable, accessible and sustainable housing in the Top End.

Established in 2003, Yilli now owns, rents, and manages hundreds of properties across the NT.

Stable homes are the foundation for growth

Yilli’s CEO Leeanne Caton said getting people into a steady home environment was the foundation for community growth.

“I’m very passionate about indigenous economic develop and none of that will ever happen unless you have got a home to start with,” Ms Caton said.


Scaling up for national good 

Meeting Yilli CEO Leeanne Caton in the NT in June, NAB CEO Ross McEwan said organisations like Yilli are helping to deliver real solutions and are worth serious consideration as to how the country can scale up its response to the crisis.

“Having a place to call your own and being part of a stable community is critical to being safe and secure, and it creates opportunity,” Mr McEwan said.
“As one of the businesses supported under our affordable housing commitment, it was superb having Leanne talk to the Board and have a conversation about what the issues are.

“We want to ensure that vulnerable Australians can find appropriate rental and community housing, that’s why we back great organisations, including Yilli,” Mr McEwan said.

“So many of these projects have huge waiting lists and are worth serious consideration as to how we can scale for the national good.”

NAB’s role in affordable housing

In the last three years, NAB has financed over $2 billion of affordable and specialist housing projects for all Australians. This has helped to provide approximately 4,300 homes for 11,000 people.

Although some progress is being made to address housing shortages, Mr McEwan said he’s hearing a clear message from housing experts, including Yilli, that much more can and needs to be done.

“Providing safe and liveable homes for a nation needs banks, government and non-profits working well together, so we’re actively contributing to partnerships that help get us there,” Mr McEwan said.

The business community must back Indigenous economic growth

Business has an integral role to play in empowering Indigenous leadership and creating opportunities for Indigenous communities to succeed.

Working together with Indigenous Australian’s, NAB’s role is to help strengthen financial inclusion leading to increased business and employment opportunities.

NAB is working to better support the aspirations of Indigenous businesses to help them grow by creating a cultural bridge between NAB and Indigenous businesses, helping to address the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous business ownership, enabling Indigenous business growth and building intergenerational wealth.

Future of Yilli Rreung Housing 

Yilli Housing will continue to work with NAB and other partners to develop their sustainable growth. As a priority, the organisation would like to work towards expanding their affordable housing offering for Indigenous people who want to live and work independently.

To learn more about Yilli Rreung Housing, head to their website.


This NAIDOC Week, NAB is joining in on the action by celebrating the achievements and contributions of some of Australia’s best Indigenous leaders and businesses who are making a real impact in their community. 

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