East Kimberley residents are benefiting from more jobs and better quality housing and support services under innovative housing programs in the region.
Housing Minister Peter Tinley visited Kununurra Maintenance Service (KMS) today to meet the owner and staff benefiting from a share of $111,500 of maintenance contracts recently awarded to three businesses in the East Kimberley.
KMS will fabricate and replace flooring at two government-owned properties in Kununurra under the $319 million Social Housing Economic Recovery Package (SHERP).
In the biggest program of its kind in WA history, SHERP will see 1,500 public and community houses refurbished, a rolling maintenance program targeting 3,800 regional dwellings, and the delivery of about 250 new homes to help meet Western Australia’s social housing needs.
Improved housing, employment and educational opportunities are also provided through the expansion of the East Kimberley Transitional Housing Program which will see 50 new homes by the end of June 2021.
So far 31 properties have been built across the East Kimberley, of which 23 are in Kununurra, four are in Halls Creek and four are in Wyndham. Construction has begun on a further 16 homes – six in Kununurra, eight in Halls Creek and two in Wyndham.
At June 30, 2020, 55 per cent of the hours worked on transitional housing properties in the Kimberley were by local Aboriginal employees, with the construction work supporting the apprenticeships of 22 Aboriginal young people.
The East Kimberley Transitional Housing Program is part of the North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund which was established to provide a $200 million investment in affordable and stable housing options and support services for Aboriginal people in the Kimberley and Pilbara.
For more information about transitional housing, visit https://www.housing.wa.gov.au/transitionalhousing
As stated by Housing Minister Peter Tinley:
“I was fortunate to meet some of the tradespeople directly benefiting from the McGowan Government’s investment in the maintenance of social housing in Kununurra.
“Not only does it provide ongoing employment opportunities for local people, it ensures much-needed homes are available for the next person on the public housing wait list.
“I acknowledge the excellent employment and economic outcomes achieved through the Department of Communities’ Transitional Housing Program.
“All construction under the program in the East Kimberley is being delivered using the North-West Urban Construction and Development Builders Panel by two local Aboriginal-owned businesses, MG Corporation and Kullarri Building, with Aboriginal people directly benefiting from employment or from the transitional homes themselves.
“Transitional housing programs provide participants with an affordable rental property, along with access to a range of services that focus on employment, education, financial independence, household management and wellbeing.
“The department recently put the call out on Tenders WA seeking support and property and tenancy management services for the East Kimberley Transitional Housing Program.
“The tender creates further opportunities for Aboriginal businesses and employment, and aims to ensure the program builds on the strengths of Aboriginal people in the East Kimberley.
“I encourage local organisations to consider submitting a response before the opportunity closes on Friday October 30 at 2:30pm.”