Annabelle Dargin knows what it's like to endure hardship.
The Wiradjuri woman grew up during an era of racial segregation, when discriminative laws governed the lives of Aboriginal people and forced them to live in tin huts on missions or reserves on the outskirts of towns.
Much has changed since then, but the 78-year-old is still living in what she describes as "neglected" housing.
Most rooms are without electricity, cables are exposed and, for nine months, the great-grandmother washed out of a bucket due to a lack of hot water.
"It's ridiculous," she said."Give me the mission any day."
Annabelle Dargin is one of around a dozen Aboriginal tenants in Condobolin, six hours west of Sydney, living in homes with black mould, termites, electrical faults and busted sewage pipes.
"If this was Sydney, there's no way in the world that these houses would be like this," saidKira-Lea Dargin, an advocate for several of the tenants.
The relationship between tenants and the local Aboriginal land council that manages the homes has deteriorated under successive boards over the past decade.
Tensions came to a head in July when a new executive issued at least 18 households with eviction notices in a bid to improve the land council's financial position.
The crisis has become a microcosm of a broader issue across NSW, as relationships break down between Aboriginal communities and the local bodies set up to represent them.
Annabelle Dargin saidshe made multiple requests to fix her hot water since the issue arose in December: in person at the land council office, at member meetings and, more recently, in emails obtained by 7.30.
Yet an invoice shows her advocate, Kira-Lea Dargin (who is Annabelle's grand-niece), paid for the repairs herself last month. The land council said they were advised the invoice would be forwarded to them, but it had not yet been received.
"We've got our elders who are in their 70s and 80s that are living in houses with black mould, where the roofs are peeling off, the walls have deteriorated," saidKira-Lea Dargin.
"These are elders who are on the aged pension, so they don't have extensive amounts of funds to put into their own houses and try and fix things out of their own pockets, which is a landlord's obligation anyway.
"It begs the question of why these things have never been addressed."
The houses are managed by the Condobolin Local Aboriginal Land Council (CLALC).
The organisation has twice gone into administration first in 2005, after it failed to provide financial statements or adopt an annual budget, and again in 2019 after writing off more than $150,000 in debts.
The land council came out of administration with a fresh board and executive in July. In the same month, it issued eviction notices to at least 18 households.
Land council representatives declined an interview with 7.30, but said in a statement that the new board had inherited a range of historical issues.
"Rents had not been paid for multiple years, leases were expired, a number of properties were old and run down and there were ongoing community disputes," the land council said.
"These had, along with the management and governance issues, jeopardised the future of CLALC's housing program, by denying CLALC much-needed funds for the homes to be maintained and the CLALC's bills to be paid, including council rates and water.
"If debts continued to mount, the CLALC may have been dissolved, and multiple local Aboriginal families may have become homeless."
Annabelle Dargin and other tenants acknowledged they had stopped paying rent because their houses were not being maintained.
"Who's going to pay for something like this run-down house?" she said.
"Do my house up, I'll pay my rent. Simple."
The land council saidit hadrecently offered Annabelle Dargin alternative housing, as her house may be beyond repair.
Nikita Atkinson was also among the tenants to receive eviction notices.
The mother-of-three moved into her home under an informal agreement just before the land council went into administration in 2019.
She and her partner spent almost a year renovating the property at their own expense.
"It was all dirt on the outside, rubbish galore ... we lost count," she said.
"About 40 loads of rubbish had to be taken to the tip.
"We lived in the lounge room for about 10 months and just gradually went through and did the bedrooms, the bathroom."
Ms Atkinson saidshe made multiple attempts to negotiate a new lease, including in correspondence obtained by 7.30.
Several other tenants claimed they were not given an opportunity to negotiate new tenancy agreements before receiving the eviction notice.
"There's no consultation, communication, negotiation anything like that with us," Ms Atkinson said.
"They say we live in a lucky country. I beg to differ."
Talks are now underway to negotiate new leases after Ms Atkinson and other tenants took their cases to the state's civil and administrative tribunal.
It is hoped that tenancy agreements will be reached in the coming weeks, but disputes remain over rental payments with the land council requesting up to $240 per week for badly damaged properties with severe mould and exposed plumbing.
"People have had enough of being let down," said Kira-Lea Dargin.
"There are things that they're just not going to be quiet on anymore."
The land council saidrepair and maintenance work was underway with $1.5 million in state funding, and it hopedto securemillions more through the Roads to Home program, a state-wide infrastructure program that gives Aboriginal communities the option to subdivide land and set up a rent-to-buy scheme.
The land council saidboard members hadnot agreed to sell any land, and such decisions would need the backing of its members.
But Kira-Lea Dargin saidsome within the community were rattled.
"They're going to have to kill me before they even think of doing anything like that," she said.
"This is land that generations and generations of my family have lived and grown on and taken care of.
"It's something that we've cherished for a very long time in our families and it's not something that we'll let go easily."
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Black mould, termites and no electricity or hot water: Inside the Aboriginal housing divide - ABC News