EIGHTEEN new homes have been created for vulnerable women following the completion of the My Home housing project – backed by mining billionaire Andrew and Nicola Forrest – and which has been described as “IKEA flatpack for housing”.
St Patrick’s Community Support Centre (St Pat’s) will manage the property, and the residents will be moving into the North Fremantle homes from the end of this month.
My Home operates under the public private partnership development model, which brings together government, non-government organisations, private sector and community housing providers to deliver homes with personalised support services for the residents.
The construction of the North Fremantle homes was funded by the Forrests’ Minderoo Foundation, Lotterywest and the Sisters of St John of God.
The homes are built using a prefabricated timber closed-panel system for walls, roof and floor. The panels are delivered to site complete with insulation, airtight and waterproof membranes, window and door frames and external cladding.
“Think of an IKEA flatpack for housing,” said My Home founder Michelle Blakeley.
“Each house can be erected on site in four hours. This means we can fast-track the construction with trades moving in to do their work as soon as each house is erected.”
“As well as increasing housing supply, we want to demonstrate to Government a cost-efficient and expedient delivery of social housing which is appropriate to the residents’ needs.”
Western Australia’s social housing waitlist stands at more than 34,200, according to Shelter WA.
Minderoo building communities director Louise Olney said Minderoo Foundation is “so pleased to be part of this important project and thrilled to see it now complete and ready to have an impact in the community”.
“A safe and secure home is a basic human right, and too many Australians are without,” she said.
“Insecure housing is an increasing issue, and homelessness services are on the front line of the bottlenecks created by the lack of appropriate housing. With rental availability remaining tight, and the demand for services growing, increased investment in is crucial.”
The latest SQM Research figures show Perth’s rental vacancy rate is at just 0.6%.
Olney said there must be a greater emphasis on leveraging innovative funding models like My Home, involving government, business, and philanthropy to increase supply, and that there is a need for governments at a local, state and federal level to work collaboratively and start implementing priority reforms to improve equality.