Growing up on various stations in remote WA, Evelyn never dreamed of home ownership but thanks to the Department’s East Kimberley Transitional Housing Program, she is now a proud new home owner.
After joining the program in November 2012, Evelyn was the first participant to achieve the dream of home ownership when she received her keys earlier this year.
“I am so thankful for the Program and the support it provided that has helped me to get to this stage in life,” Evelyn said.
“I’m a single mother with four children and the biggest battle I’ve had to face is to really believe that I could do this.
“My children have been a big inspiration that has driven me to achieve my goal. It is also through the grace of God and the support of my mum’s family that I’ve been able to get this far in life.”
Prior to entering the program, Evelyn was a public housing tenant for 16 years before becoming over-income. With a job as a pharmacy assistant for the last 13 years, she was able to transition into the program and in less than two years become a home owner.
The Transitional Housing Program was launched in September 2012 with 40 homes in Kununurra. The Program provides affordable housing and embedded support services for Aboriginal people to help them gain independence and take a significant step towards creating personal wealth and achieving home ownership.
Program participants must be engaged in employment or training, ensure children attend school regularly and participate in the associated support program which includes setting lifestyle goals, financial management and progressing referrals to community support networks like health agencies.
As of July 2014, three participating households in the program have had their home loans approved, with another six in progress. The combined average school attendance of children in the program is at 89 per cent, compared to 77 per cent in WA and 68 per cent in the Kimberley.
Each participating household has a minimum of one tenant engaged in employment. This equates to 100 per cent for the Program compared with 51 per cent for Aboriginal employment across WA.
“Growing up my family worked on a station and there was never any talk about home ownership, so for me to become a home owner it was a really big step to take and quite a journey, but I am so happy to finally have a place to call my own,” Evelyn said.
“With the help and support of the Program and by educating yourself it can all come true.”
The East Kimberley Transitional Housing Program has been funded by the Commonwealth’s East Kimberley Development Package (EKDP). The Department has partnered with Community Housing Limited (CHL) to manage the properties and the Wunan Foundation to provide the support services for participants.