Four-hundred and sixty public houses scattered through Katherine may seem like a lot, but for the people who have waited years on a list for their chance to stake claim it is not nearly enough.
As Katherine's homelessness crisis continues into the new decade no closer to a resolution the NT Government has offered some numbers, saying it is housing 900 people in the 460 homes.
But some of that housing is for people with disabilities, Salvation Army Captain Julie Howard said, and some have housed families for decades, with a pathway out verging on impossible.
In October 2017 the Salvation Army launched the Katherine Doorways Hub, a drop-in centre and community space for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Mrs Howard says "a lot of people visit [the hub] because they don't have a house."
"Some have been sleeping rough for years and they are still waiting."
The government has come in for harsh criticism on its inaction on homelessness, chronically underfunded, Katherine's homelessness rate remains one of the highest in the nation.
Francis Ward and Tanya Martin are new additions to the NT's public housing waiting list.
They are queuing behind people who have been waiting for more than six years, but have run out of options and fear if they leave someone will take their spot.
"We applied a couple of months ago, we haven't been told how long we will wait, they said to keep coming back to the main office (at the Government Centre) to check," Mr Ward said.
"There are heaps [of people] around on the list, some of them waiting eight years now.
"Some have given up and gone to live with family in Darwin."
The couple came to Katherine last year escaping overcrowded houses in Beswick.
But they arrived to unnaffordable short term accommodation, and equally severe overcrowding.
The three bedroom homes housing some of their family members had up to 14 people coming and going.
At one, the Department of Housing closed down a premises they were staying at because there were too many people, and too many issues, Mr Ward said.
"We feel out of place staying at other people's houses.
"We really need a roof over our heads... a lot of people stay on the river bank, but we don't know how with the rain and the mosquitos."
The couple are paying off bills, and at the moment only Ms Martin is able to work, as diabetes has stolen much of Mr Ward's eyesight.
Sleeping rough in the long grass, on a couch, or in a house teeming with people is a reality for many people in Katherine as a lack of affordable housing remains a key concern.
"We often hear of houses that are overcrowded, sometimes we hear of 10 to 15 people in a house due to cultural and family obligations," Mrs Howard said.
"There is a lack of housing in town, and there is a lack of short-term accommodation for when people are transitioning to public houses - while they are waiting, they are usually sleeping rough."
While the housing crisis lies mainly in the lack of houses available for Katherine's most vulnerable people, a lack of pathways out of the public housing system means a low turnover rate.
"Once people are in public housing they tend to stay," Mrs Howard said.
"If people are unemployed or on benefits, it is low rent so there is no real incentive to get out.
There are not many pathways out of public housing, not enough extra houses being built, but we're seeing more people needing a home.Salvation Army Captain, Julie Howard
The NT Government has two options for low income earners wanting to enter the private housing market.
The Home Buyer Initiative aims to make it possible for low to middle income earners to buy a new residential property, or to build on vacant residential land, but according to the website "there are no Home Buyer Initiative properties currently available".
And the HomeBuild Access, managed by People's Choice Credit Union on behalf of the NT Government, provides access to low deposit home loans to build a new house or to purchase a brand new home.
And while it is possible for tenants to purchase public houses, not all public houses are for sale.
Public housing that is under 10 years old, in a good location and in good condition, and in high demand cannot be purchased by tenants.
According to new research by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, the public housing market is perceived by tenants as a "destination" rather than a pathway to the private market.
The research, Understanding the experience of social housing pathways, was undertaken for AHURI by researchers from the University of Tasmania, Swinburne University of Technology, The University of Adelaide and The University of New South Wales, and explores the ways very low income households experience pathways into, within and out of the Australian public housing system.
The research found the private rental market is largely "inaccessible, unaffordable and insecure" for many people currently in social housing.
"Many of the tenants we interviewed did not feel they had any option but to stay in social housing, considering themselves unable, financially and otherwise, to negotiate the private rental market," lead author of the report Dr Kathleen Flanagan from the University of Tasmania said.
"In practical terms, for many tenants there are no feasible pathways out of social housing to another form of housing. Instead, the social housing system is seen as a destination."
Dr Flanagan said the majority of the tenants interviewed for the research had experienced significant housing instability and insecurity prior to accessing social housing. This included experiences of homelessness, domestic and family violence, inadequate and unhealthy housing, significant financial stress, and high levels of household mobility.
"Government policies to move people through and out of social housing won't be effective unless there are strong improvements to security of tenure and affordability for these tenants as they move into the private rental market," Dr Flanagan said.
"If policies to encourage or enforce transitions out of social housing and into the private rental market are to be promoted, then housing providers should make sure adequate support is available at all stages of the process: before, during and after a move is made.
"In addition, there needs to be private rental housing that is affordable and secure that tenants can move into."
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