A North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund of $200 million will provide more housing options for Aboriginal families with the aim of improving school and work outcomes.
The North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund will support hundreds of Aboriginal people to move out of social housing into transitional housing, private rental accommodation or home ownership.
It will achieve this by expanding on the State Government’s successful transitional housing model, developed in partnership with Wunan Foundation, which is operating in several Kimberley towns. This model helps Aboriginal participants to set life management goals, manage personal finances and access community support networks.
Transitional housing also requires children to go to school, adults to work and householders to fulfil tenancy obligations and engage with support services, in exchange for affordable housing and support to transition to private rental accommodation or home ownership. The results of the transitional housing model include strong school attendance and employment, properties maintained in excellent condition, support services engaged and home ownership.
Later projects under the fund will test whether changes to resident obligations, support services and financing options could lead to even better outcomes. All projects that involve new housing construction will provide apprenticeships, traineeships and jobs for local Aboriginal people. The fund will also provide an opportunity for native title trusts and social or private investors to co-invest in housing with the State Government.
Over four years, the fund is expected to achieve:
- increased school attendance for at least 600 Aboriginal children
- participation in jobs and training by at least 300 adults
- apprenticeships for 30 young people
- eventual home ownership for at least 15 families
- about $25 million in services and construction contracts for Aboriginal organisations
Implementation of the North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund will begin in 2018 with the construction of 50 more transitional housing dwellings in the Kimberley. Construction of these houses is expected to begin by March 2018.
The project to build the 50 additional transitional houses in the Kimberley will be partly co-designed with Binarri-binyja yarrawoo Aboriginal Corporation, the backbone organisation of Empowered Communities in the East Kimberley.
The Kimberley project will be closely followed by the expansion of the transitional housing model into the Pilbara. The Hedland Transitional Housing Project will see 40 government-owned houses repurposed as transitional housing, with eligible tenants likely to move into the properties in 2019.
Support services and housing design principles for the 40 Hedland houses will be co-designed with local Aboriginal organisations.
The North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund is a State Government initiative proudly supported by the Australian Government.