Rough sleepers win in landmark WA partnership

Housing Choices Western Australia is set to expand its supportive landlord program from eight properties to 100, enabling more rough sleepers to access stable social housing, thanks to a partnership with the State Government.

Western Australia Homelessness Minister John Carey this week announced the government would invest $20.7 million as part of the landmark partnership aimed at assisting and transitioning rough sleepers on Western Australian streets to 100 social homes across the Perth metropolitan area and the South-West.

Housing Choices will provide property and tenancy management for 100 social dwellings through the supportive landlord model, with 50 of these being provided through State Government spot purchasing. The homes will prioritise people who have experienced prolonged homelessness.

Housing Choices WA General Manager, Natalie Sangalli said the not-for-profit community housing provider had successfully partnered with the Department of Communities and existing homelessness support providers in the Southwest to pilot the supportive landlord model and get a small number of people experiencing homelessness into their own homes in Bunbury.

“This extension to 100 properties by the government to really prove the concept, is very welcome – as is the acknowledgement that complex tenancies require a subsidy for community housing providers to work to keep people housed,” she said.

“The supportive landlord model originated from a collaboration within the community housing sector to deliver a sustainable housing model for people experiencing complex mental health issues and the success of this led us to realising it was transferrable to helping people experiencing chronic rough sleeping or homelessness.

“We are very excited to be implementing this on a larger scale and provide more homes for people who really need them.”

Minister Carey said the government was focused on delivering an evidence-based housing first approach that provided tangible long-term outcomes.

He said under the supportive landlord model, social outcomes would be prioritised over commercial objectives, with tenants linked to specific supports to assist with their individual needs.

“Our government is continually looking at innovative reforms to boost accommodation options for rough sleepers,” he said in a statement.

“To achieve this, we have a plan – and are delivering significant reforms across the sector, while partnering with them to ensure the best possible outcomes.

“We’re enhancing support networks, delivering more social housing stock, and boosting the availability of accommodation for people experiencing homelessness.

“This is all part of our government’s $2.4 billion investment over four years, to improve the quality and accessibility of social housing and homelessness services across the State.”

Read the full details of the reforms.