A recent social study of Aboriginal families revealed 78 per cent of participants would like to own their own home in the future. Participants also identified cultural and leadership aspirations as well as financial stability and life opportunities for their children.
Using a strengths-based approach, the North-West Aboriginal Housing fund sought to better understand the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal people living in the Pilbara and Kimberley, as well as any perceived barriers to achieving these aspirations.
A major initiative of the State Government’s regional services reform, the fund will increase housing options and wrap around support services for Aboriginal families so that they have a greater chance of attaining economic independence and participating in education and employment.
Executive Director, Regional Services Reform Unit, Tanya Steinbeck, said a key driver of reform is supporting families to build their skills, and overcome any barriers to doing so, through service redesign and delivery improvements.
“This study will provide an evidence base for the fund to develop and test wrap around support services that meet the needs of local Aboriginal families.”
Aboriginal organisation Codeswitch engaged regionally based Aboriginal researchers, to undertake a mixed-method approach to the study delivered in Karratha, Hedland, Broome and Kununurra.
Dorinda Cox, Field and Data Team Manager, Codeswitch said hearing first-hand from Aboriginal families is vital in designing and delivering services that are tailored to local needs.
“Participants identified health and well-being, financial management skills, and employment stability as key barriers that would need to be addressed to enable home ownership and the fulfilment of their goals.
“Additional barriers preventing home ownership included an inability to save enough for a deposit, a lack of financial advice or support, and limited access to information and services.”
The fund will continue to work with Aboriginal people, service delivery organisations, and state government agencies, to design and develop opportunities for Aboriginal people living in regional towns in the Pilbara and Kimberley.
Based on findings from the study, the fund will focus on developing wrap-around support services that:
- recognise well-being and education of children as a key motivation in people’s lives;
- improve access and delivery of information about renting, loans and home ownership to enable Aboriginal people to better engage with financial institutions and systems;
- develop the family well-being, confidence, and financial literacy of those seeking to enter into the private housing market; and
- connect with employment programs in the regions and building a clear pathway to the private housing market for young adults and single parents.
Aboriginal organisations involved in the co-design procress in the Pilbara