The Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations (Coalition of Peaks) has urged politicians to "stop squabbling" and take immediate action to resolve delays on the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) Bill.
Coalition of Peaks' Deputy Lead Convenors, Scott Wilson and Catherine Liddle, said housing was too critical an issue to "fall victim to political game-playing".
"Housing is a key social determinant of health; our people need housing now. It's time to stop procrastinating," Mr Wilson, who is Chair of the South Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation Network, said.
"Our politicians need to stop dragging this issue out and start taking action.
"There's no guarantee that come October the legislation will pass, and even if it does, by the time you even start building houses we're looking at 2025."
Ms Liddle, who is also chief executive of SNAICC – National Voice for our Children, said Federal politicians "should be shamed for holding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to ransom".
"These politicians are letting perfect get in the way of good, forcing our people to languish on the streets and in overcrowded and unfit housing," she said.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare:
18 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live in overcrowded households
20 per cent of those who were homeless in 2016 were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
34 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults rent through social housing.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Housing Association (NATSIHA) CEO and Co-Chair of the Housing Policy Partnership, Ivan Simon, said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people "continue to be severely disadvantaged by the lack of appropriate response from government over many years to the housing circumstances that impact on their daily lives".
"This also means positive outcomes for the Closing the Gap targets are not being achieved, despite the efforts of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisations and the hard work to implement the National Agreement on Closing the Gap," he said.
"NATSIHA sees the current initiatives proposed by the Australian Government, such as the HAFF legislation and the $2 billion Social Housing Accelerator initiative, as just the starting point to address the extent of need. It is vital that an appropriate target of at least 10% of those funds are focussed on our communities, and in particular on programs that add new supply to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Organisations."
The Coalition of Peaks is made up of 80 peak organisations that represent some 800 organisations that provide services to more than 550,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia.