$200m boost for hous­ing

Pilbara News - - State Election 2017 - Jenne Bram­mer

Abo­rig­i­nal fam­i­lies in the North West are set to ben­e­fit from a $200 mil­lion fund which aims to in­crease hous­ing op­tions and break the cy­cle of gen­er­a­tional wel­fare de­pen­dency.

The North-West Abo­rig­i­nal Hous­ing Fund will put hun­dreds of Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple on a path to ed­u­ca­tional and eco­nomic suc­cess, sup­port­ing them to move out of so­cial hous­ing into tran­si­tional hous­ing, pri­vate ren­tal ac­com­mo­da­tion or home own­er­ship.

The project is a ma­jor ini­tia­tive of the State Gov­ern­ment’s re­gional ser­vices re­forms to im­prove the lives of Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in re­gional and re­mote WA.

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Terry Red­man said the fund would be used to build high spec­i­fi­ca­tion “tran­si­tional houses” in the Kim­ber­ley and Pil­bara.

Shadow min­is­ter for men­tal health Stephen Daw­son, said the fund­ing, while long over­due, was wel­come for the Pil­bara.

“At the mo­ment there is a dis­in­cen­tive for many Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple liv­ing in so­cial hous­ing be­cause their ten­ancy is put at risk if they get a job and earn over a cer­tain amount.” he said. “This ini­tia­tive will hope­fully put ten­ants on the path to home own­er­ship and help break the poverty cy­cle by en­sur­ing chil­dren at­tend school.”

He said most Abo­rig­i­nal house­holds in the North West lived in so­cial hous­ing — more than 70 per cent in the Kim­ber­ley and more than 50 per cent in the Pil­bara.

Hous­ing Min­is­ter Bren­don Grylls said fam­i­lies in tran­si­tional hous­ing would need to ful­fil a range of obli­ga­tions in ex­change for af­ford­able rent and sup­port ser­vices. Adults must be em­ployed or in train­ing, and chil­dren must at­tend school at least 85 per cent of the time.

Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the four-year fund will start this year with the build­ing of 50 tran­si­tional houses in the Kim­ber­ley, start­ing in Ku­nunurra.

The fund in­cludes a $25 mil­lion com­mit­ment from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment, with the re­main­der funded by the WA Gov­ern­ment, sup­ported by the Roy­al­ties for Re­gions pro­gram. It ex­pands the Gov­ern­ment’s suc­cess­ful tran­si­tional hous­ing model, de­vel­oped in part­ner­ship with the Wu­nan Foun­da­tion, op­er­at­ing in sev­eral Kim­ber­ley ar­eas and de­liv­er­ing greater eco­nomic in­de­pen­dence and an in­crease in school at­ten­dance.

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