Housing Choices WA scores $10 million to support vulnerable Western Australians

Housing Choices Western Australia will have access to $10 million to increase the supply of housing to vulnerable Western Australians experiencing homelessness and women and children escaping family and domestic violence.

Under a 10-year interest free loan from the Sisters of St. John of God (SSJG), Housing Choices WA will purchase up to 34 one-, two- and three-bedroom properties across the Perth, Peel and Bunbury regions.

The funding announcement builds on Housing Choices WA and SSJG’s relationship, which began in 2017 following a purchase of four properties by SSJG to provide housing and support to women experiencing homelessness with their children.

Housing Choices WA managed and supported the families within the four properties and built an excellent relationship with SSJG based on empathy, responsiveness and trust, which was key to this exciting expansion.

Housing Choices WA General Manager Natalie Sangalli said the additional homes would contribute to affordable housing in WA.

She also hoped to expand state funding for a pilot in Bunbury to overlay a “supportive landlord service” to people experiencing homelessness who would benefit from the housing.

Natalie said the Supportive Landlord Model proved tenants facing mental health challenges stayed in their homes long-term and the Bunbury pilot, with people experiencing homelessness, was showing early signs of similar success.

“To date, everyone we’ve housed through the pilot is still in their home, which is evidence that subsidised housing with the right framework in place can keep people facing significant and complex challenges sustainably housed,” she said.

“As part of the pilot in Bunbury we have built on our excellent working relationships with key homeless sector support providers and have produced creative and collaborative ways of helping people sustain tenancies.

“Hopefully, through these exemplar models of social housing we can continue to provide evidence that subsidies for housing providers to sustain complex tenancies deliver good upstream outcomes, saving downstream costs of cyclical homelessness.”