The Department of Communities has picked up three prestigious awards at the 2017 Australasian Housing Institute's (AHI) WA Professional Excellence in Housing Awards, held last night at the Flour Factory in Perth.
The awards recognise the housing professionals who have made a significant and lasting difference to tenants, clients, the community, and their profession.
The winner of the Leading Community Engagement Practice award is the Transitional Housing Program, developed by the department with the Kimberley Development Commission.
Community Housing Limited, the Wunan Foundation, Nirrumbuk Environmental Health and Services, and Centacare Kimberley are also key partners.
The program provides stable, affordable housing and support services for eligible Aboriginal people. It aims to build the capacity of participants to achieve self-sufficiency, financial security, household stability and ultimately home ownership.
The Transitional Housing Program utilises housing as a platform to improve employment and educational outcomes, and facilitates intergenerational change.
One-hundred per cent of the participating households in Broome had at least one adult in employment, and school attendance rates were at 96 per cent.
The department's Assisted Rental Pathways Pilot shared the award for Leading Innovation.
Under the pilot, the department joined four community services organisations, Centrecare; Salvation Army; Outcare; and Multicultural Services of WA, to trial an innovative form of assistance to support 200 social housing tenants and applicants to transition to private rentals.
Participants receive a tiered rental subsidy and individualised assistance to build their personal capacity, financial capacity and self-sufficiency in the private housing market.
The Foyer Oxford complex won the Excellence in Social Housing award. Foyer Oxford was developed by the Department of Communities, Anglicare WA, Foundation Housing and North Metropolitan TAFE.
Foyer Oxford brings together a range of partners from government, the community sector and industry to deliver a holistic response to youth homelessness.
Housing Minister Peter Tinley said the McGowan Government recognised and valued the AHI award winners who provide specialist support and accommodation services that directly benefit the most vulnerable members of our community.
"It is highly encouraging to see the standard of work that resulted in these awards and congratulations are due to all involved with the Transitional Housing Program, Assisted Rental Pathways Pilot, and Foyer Oxford,” he said.
"You have all helped build the sense of wellbeing and hope for many people in difficult circumstances such as women and children escaping domestic violence, veterans requiring crisis accommodation and people transitioning out of homelessness.”
The AHI is the professional association representing workers and volunteers in Australia and New Zealand's multi-disciplinary social housing industry.