The doors to a 100-bed transitional accommodation facility will open in Perth’s CBD next month to help people experiencing homelessness find their feet.
The accommodation will offer a low-barrier accommodation option for rough sleepers, as well as tailored supports for residents for the duration of their stay.
The 112-unit accommodation, known as Boorloo Bidee Mia or ‘Perth pathway to housing’ in the Whadjuk dialect of the Noongar language, will be managed by the Wungening Aboriginal Corporation and Noongar Mia Mia.
The Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) have been jointly awarded $6.7 million to provide lodging support, tenancy management for Boorloo Bidee residents for the next three years. The money will also be used to support 20 new jobs to implement and deliver culturally informed responses for the transitional accommodation facility.
“I would like to thank the building owner, Wungening, Noongar Mia Mia, the City of Perth and all stakeholders for working constructively with the state government to expedite this important initiative,” WA community services minister Simone McGurk said.
Boorloo Bidee Mia is the first interim stage of a plan to build a larger facility currently under construction called Common Ground at the corner of Hill Street and Wellington Street in East Perth.
The WA government has committed $45.5 million towards the construction of the Common Ground located at 300 Wellington Street, with another $8 million in federal money from the Perth City Deal also going to the project.
McGurk said that Aboriginal people were overrepresented among ‘chronic rough sleepers’ in Perth, and she hoped Boorloo Bidee Mia could offer a tailored and culturally appropriate response in their housing services.
“The government already has a number of significant projects in the pipeline to address homelessness across the Perth metropolitan area, but it is clear that an interim response is required while longer-term solutions like Common Ground are being developed,” McGurk said.
“The new Boorloo Bidee Mia homelessness facility on Wellington Street delivers on our commitment to provide an immediate increase in the number of beds available for rough sleepers in our city.”
“Significantly, the government has also increased its investment in the Perth Common Ground facility being developed nearby, boosting its capacity to accommodate 112 people once it has been completed,” she added.
The Boorloo Bidee Mia accommodation is being leased by the WA department of communities and will open on 1 August.