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$6.7 million boost for community housing in WA

A funding package of over $6 million will provide low cost rental housing for Aboriginal families, women and dependent children, older Australians, and people with intellectual disabilities in Western Australia.

The Community Housing Program initiative was announced today by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Housing and Regional Development, Brian Howe, and Western Australian Minister for Housing, Kevin Prince.

Under the package, Wesleycare will receive funding for the purchase of five units in the inner western suburbs of Perth to accommodate people with intellectual disabilities.

The Murchison Regional Aboriginal Corporation will purchase transportable houses to accommodate Aboriginal families in Yalgoo and Sandstone.

Narrogin Cottage Homes will also be funded to construct six units to accommodate aged people in Narrogin.

Mr Howe said he was delighted that the projects in the package were targeted towards the particular needs of clients.

"The Federal government is committed to working with the States in providing appropriate accommodation for people with specific housing and support needs," Mr Howe said.

"But building houses is not enough - these projects demonstrate the Community Housing Program objective of linking housing with appropriate support services.

"For instance, the housing provided by Wesleycare for people with a mental illness under this package will be linked with clinical support from the Avro Psychiatric Clinic in Shenton Park and the North Metropolitan Health Region."

Mr Prince said the provision of alternative housing options via non-profit community organisations and local government placed less strain on the public housing sector and provided opportunities for people with special needs to access more appropriate housing.

"One of the strengths of community housing is the diversity of the sponsoring organisations which increases the opportunities for people with special needs to access more appropriate forms of public housing," Mr Prince said.

"The Program encourages maximum tenant involvement in the development and management of housing, so that both local housing needs and the shelter and support needs of specific groups in the community are met," he said.

The Community Housing Program was introduced in January 1993 to expand the supply of community managed rental housing and to support and resource the long term viability of the community housing sector.

For further information:

Hugo Kelly, Brian Howe's office, (06) 277 7099

Julie Collings, Department, (09) 426 3507