Hundreds of Aboriginal families in the Kimberley and Pilbara are set to benefit from the $200 million North West Aboriginal Housing Fund (NWAHF) which has been established to help break the cycle of generational welfare dependency while improving school and work outcomes.
The NWAHF is part of the Regional Services Reform Unit’s Resilient Families-Strong Communities road map and links in with the Housing Authority’s transitional housing program in the North-West to improve the lives of Aboriginal people living in regional and remote Western Australia.
The transitional housing program requires households to send their children to school and requires at least one adult to work, fulfil their tenancy obligations and engage with support services in exchange for access to affordable housing as part of a transition to private rental accommodation or home ownership.
Results of the transitional housing model include strong school attendance and employment, properties maintained in excellent condition, support services engaged and home ownership.
The NWAHF will increase housing choices and access to support services for Aboriginal families in the Kimberley and Pilbara while also focusing on improving local education, training and employment outcomes through a targeted construction program.
Over the next four years, the NWAHF is expected to result in increased school attendance for at least 600 Aboriginal children, participation in jobs and training by about 300 adults, apprenticeships for 30 young people and eventual home ownership for at least 15 families.
This fund aims to assist in increasing aspiration and independence of people in the Kimberley and Pilbara to facilitate local wealth creation through business development, employment and home ownership opportunities. The $200 million NWAHF includes $175 million State funding and a $25 million Commonwealth funding commitment as part of broader reform of regional services delivery to Aboriginal communities. Only a portion of this funding will be allocated to construction.
All projects under the NWAHF that involve housing works will be required to achieve significant Aboriginal employment and training outcomes.
The first project under the NWAHF is to establish up to 50 new transitional housing dwellings in the Kimberley. Construction of these houses is expected to begin by September 2017.
Along with the significant investment which the NWAHF will provide, the Housing Authority has a number of current or planned activities that will see further housing construction or refurbishment projects undertaken throughout urban areas of the Kimberley and Pilbara regions over the next four years.
To maximise the benefit of these works for Government and the local community, including regional development outcomes, the Housing Authority is seeking to establish a panel of builders with the capacity to deliver the required construction, vocational training and local Aboriginal employment objectives.
The Housing Authority may use the panel to deliver capital works across its urban development initiatives in the Kimberley and Pilbara.
Expressions of Interest (EOIs) are currently being sought by the Housing Authority from Registered Building Contractors who are headquartered, established or have a proven track record in the regions where housing construction is proposed and who can demonstrate success in employing and training Aboriginal people in contractual and sub contractual relationships with specific consideration to Aboriginal businesses.
The ability of Respondents to achieve the Aboriginal employment, training and business engagement targets will be taken into consideration along with their experience and capability to address the challenges for specific clients in difficult conditions. Respondents’ ability to demonstrate this criteria will be a material consideration in establishing the proposed builder’s panel along with Buy Local, local content and overall value for money criteria.
Packages of work will be awarded over a period of four years to facilitate and support completion of local apprenticeships and traineeships.
View the North-West Urban Construction and Development Builders Panel EOI on Tenders WA or view the fact sheet here.
To find out more about the North-West Aboriginal Housing Fund, please visit the Regional Services Reform Unit website.