Fund lays foundation for Aboriginal prosperity

Wed 25 January, 2017

Fifty more transitional houses will be built in the Kimberley as part of a $200 million fund to provide Aboriginal families with a pathway to home ownership and greater prosperity.

The North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund is a major initiative of the State Government’s regional services reform and one of 10 priority actions in the Resilient Families; Strong Communities roadmap.

State reform leader Grahame Searle said the four-year fund would help improve the lives of Aboriginal people living in regional and remote Western Australia.

“The fund is expected to increase school attendance, employment and housing choices for at least 300 Aboriginal families in the North-West, as well as improve overall family wellbeing,” he said.

“It will increase housing options and intensive support for Aboriginal families so that they have a greater chance of attaining economic independence and participating in education.”

The fund will expand on the State Government’s successful transitional housing model, developed in partnership with Wunan Foundation, which is operating in several Kimberley towns. This program helps Aboriginal participants to set life management goals, manage personal finances and access community support networks.

Implementation of the fund will begin in 2017 with the construction of 50 additional transitional housing dwellings in the Kimberley.

Aboriginal families that move into the new houses will be required to fulfil a range of tenancy obligations, including ensuring their children are attending school and the adults in the household are working or in training.

Mother of two Celeste Hunter, from Kununurra, became a transitional housing tenant in 2012 and left the program after three years to build a home with her partner.

She said the transitional housing program had strengthened her family and was changing the lives of Aboriginal people.

“For many Aboriginal people, home ownership has never really been an option, but now I see young Indigenous people going into home ownership and they have a sense of pride,” she said. “We’re building a future for our children.”

Mr Searle said the fund was expected to result in increased school attendance for at least 600 Aboriginal children; participation in jobs and training by at least 300 adults; apprenticeships for 30 young people; and eventual home ownership for at least 15 families.

He said all projects under the fund would be required to achieve Aboriginal employment targets and facilitate local Aboriginal apprenticeships and traineeships, starting with a target of 45 per cent Aboriginal employment for the project to build 50 transitional houses.

The North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund is a State Government initiative proudly supported by the Australian Government.

The North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund will provide a pathway to home ownership for Aboriginal families.

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Last reviewed: 25 Jan 2017