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Breaking the cycle of homelessness in Alice Springs



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Breaking the cycle of homelessness in Alice Springs

Date: 13/04/2011

Joint Media Release with:

• Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health, Member for Lingiari • Karl Hamption MLA, Northern Territory Minister for Central Australia

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments have delivered a $7.4 million dollar facility to help address homelessness in Alice Springs.

The 28 unit transitional housing facility has been completed and will begin operation next month as part of the $150 million Alice Springs Transformation Plan.

The Northern Territory Minister for Central Australia, Karl Hampton, today announced that Mission Australia has won the tender to manage Percy Court.

"Percy Court is a purpose built facility offering transitional accommodation and support to help people who are homeless or have had difficulty maintaining a tenancy," Mr Hampton said.

"People who use the facility will be supported to develop the skills and knowledge needed to sustain a public or private housing tenancy."

Mr Hampton said Percy Court is an excellent example of the commitment the Australian and Northern Territory Governments have to working in partnership to address the challenges facing the people of Alice Springs to break the cycle of homelessness.

The facility has been built with funding from the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan.

The Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin said accommodation options like Percy Court are essential in transforming the town of Alice Springs.

"Mission Australia will work with up to 79 residents of Percy Court to make the transition to more permanent housing." she said.

"In addition to Percy Court, The Lodge, located on Bath Street, will also begin operating next month.

"This redevelopment will provide 35 beds for short-term managed accommodation for people coming to Alice Springs seeking medical treatment.

"Together with the recently opened Apmere Mwerre Visitor Park and the 85 new houses being built in the town camps as part of the Alice Springs Transformation Plan, these facilities are helping to reduce overcrowding and providing more people with a safe place to stay."

The Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, said there are clearly different accommodation needs in Alice Springs and a variety of options are required.

"Percy Court provides essential accommodation which is managed to transition people to longer term more independent arrangements," Mr Snowdon said.

"This has worked in the past with the Melanka and Stuart Lodge in the 70’s, which provided managed accommodation for single people, many of whom transitioned to rented Housing Commission housing and into home ownership as their circumstances changed."